High-Speed Travel: The Past & The Future
We've come a long way with transport since the times when a trip from Europe to the Americas took anywhere from 1 to 3 months. These days the same trip can be done by air in less than 8 hours, but we haven't reached the end of the evolution of transport just yet.
With new technologies being discovered or conceptualised each day we're a long way from the day there will be no new modes of transport to invent, but this blog post will look at how we're doing right now and what will be coming to us within the next 20 years.
Our first stop will be rail, but this is no ordinary train…
In 2012 at an event in California, the founder of SpaceX, Elon Musk, talked about a new concept of travel called the Hyperloop. He described a mode of transport that was: immune to weather, had cars that didn't crash, travelled at twice the speed of a typical jet and required very little power.
This new mode of transport, a cross between a Concorde, a railgun and an air hockey table, may have seemed unbelievable at the time but in June 2015, Musk announced that a 1 mile test track for the Hyperloop would be built in California.
For those wanting to know a little more about the science behind how Hyperloop works, we'll give a brief overview. The Hyperloop system will be comprised of two airtight tubes, one for each direction, with cars being sealed inside these. The cars will use air compressors that suck air in at the front and blow it out of the bottom, and linear induction motors to reach top speeds of around 760 mph.
The notional route for Hyperloop is the 381 mile journey from LA to San Francisco, which will take just 30 minutes, but Musk plans to link up the whole of the USA as soon as the technology is developed.
Most people are familiar with what Concorde is, but sadly one hasn't made a commercial flight since 2003.
The story of Concorde starts long before that though, in the early 1950s when the director of the Royal Aircraft Establishment asked for a committee to be formed to study the supersonic transport concept. In less than two decades, the plane was planned, developed and tested and on 21st January 1976 Concorde began making commercial flights from London to Bahrain and Paris to Rio.
Even today, Concorde is recognised as a revolutionary form of transport. The plane introduced so many new technologies that we can't list them all here, but they include: computer-controlled air intakes, double delta shaped wings and a drooped nose section.
Achieving a cruising speed of 1,354 mph at 45,000ft (about 10,000 ft higher than most commercial flights), Concorde served for 27 years before it was finally decommissioned in 2003.
Following an unfortunate crash in 2000, the slump in air travel that followed the September 11 attacks, and rising maintenance costs, Concorde was no longer a financially viable plane.
We hope you know a little bit more about the leading edge high-speed travel technologies after reading this. Here at European Springs we're passionate about all things engineering and that's why we provide the best service to all our customers. We have a fantastic range of springs, including high-quality gas springs, so if you have any need for springs then we can certainly help out. If you would like some more information, contact us on +44 (0) 208 663 1800 and a member of our team will be happy to help.