TU Munich (WARR) wins SpaceX’s Hyperloop Pod speed competition (again)

The team from the Technical University of Munich have won the second SpaceX Hyperloop challenge competition, having won the first competition earlier this year.

See our previous post on TU Munich Wins SpaceX Fastest Hyperloop Capsule Competition.

Recently, SpaceX held its second Hyperloop Pod design competition for student teams at its test track near SpaceX headquarters. The one mile-long track saw three finalist teams battle it out, this time, for the fastest speed. Once again, the team from the Technical University of Munich were finalists, along with Switzerland’s Swissloop and Paradigm, a North American team.

The winner team was WARR (meaning in German: Wissenschaftliche Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Raketentechnik und Raumfahrt, and English: Scientific Work-group for Rocketry and Space Flight), who built the which travelled at a speed of 324 km/h, which is over 201 mph. The speed easily eclipsed the next placed team, and the WARR pod was the only one to even attempt to reach its top speed during the runs.

The team earned the praise of SpaceX co-founder and CEO Elon Musk with the victory, who said that it was extremely impressive as a result from a student initiative. There will be more opportunities to compete, too as Musk announced that SpaceX had decided to host the competition again next year, marking the third running of the pods.

The three teams that competed on Sunday were selected from a larger group based on satisfying a number of pre-run criteria, including tests designed to ensure their vehicles can run in the mile of test track with a relative guarantee of safe performance. WARR’s Pod also did well in the January Hyperloop Pod competition, achieving the top speed, then, too. WARR’s January speed was only 58 mph, however, which they eclisped this time out.

The WARR pod is built entirely of a carbon fibre, which helps it keep weight down and lends to its ability to reach high speeds in the functional vacuum conditions of the depressurized tube interior. Both of the other competitors in the final faced some technical issues, including a tube pressurization problem for Paradigm that meant they did their run in less than vacuum conditions, and some connectivity problems for Swissloop.

Paradigm was the only team to use air bearings, as described in the original Hyperloop white paper released by Elon Musk, and WARR’s pod won thanks to its electric motor and lightweight 176 lb frame.

See here for more information: WARR

Photo credit: http://hyperloop.warr.de. Material used in the preparation of this article has been drawn from TechCrunch.


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