The Fallacy of the Hyperloop TT vision

When a Project Lacks Proper Due Diligence and Sound Vision:

The big idea behind an effective HET3 – ET3-Hyperloop design is to create something new, something innovative and highly effective… something much faster, safer and substancially more convenient.

Today, air travel is the best thing we have to move people and ship things around our globe at the highest speed… but, planes have to move through the atmosphere – we’re still moving at sub-sonic speed. The promise of the future is traveling in a space environment within an evacuated tube that will go beyond supersonic allowing hypersonic travel on earth. This is and should be our future…

In contrast, air travel – not to mention, the entire system of terminals where planes have to gate for boarding and un-boarding is outdated. In addition, air travel for passengers has become bogged down so much that getting from point A to B takes a lot longer while more stops are added along the travel path that requires more boarding and un-boarding – passengers have to do all that switching between gates then wait during long layovers for their next flight where they’ll board once again. These measures have been implemented in order to extract greater profits toward sustainable airline businesses.

A tedious and outdated system that wastes a lot of valuable time. Also, air for moving freight is inefficient due to high cost, not to mention the carbon footprint effect. But it is the most convenient at this time for getting smaller shipments from point A to B in the most time-efficient manner.

Ground transport in some respects is a different story. Today, for freight, we use rail technology to move larger loads with greater efficiency.

Continue here from LinkedIn article: There’s a reason Berkshire Hathaway has invested heavily in railroads, because they still work and, they continue being a foundational workhorse. On the passenger – rail transport side though, there’s still the element of changing lines at designated terminals where we switch from one line to another that eventually gets us to our desired destination.

The only thing that’s changed most over time is rail’s propulsion technology from steam to electric and diesel. Only problem with rail transport is the slowness. Same goes for maritime shipping. Did you know that maritime shipping is even more energy efficient than rail and that canal barge beats all?  Good stuff for heavy load lifting for sure as long as you can plan ahead and have the time to wait. Weather also plays a potential disruptive factor.

There have been some advancements in the rail transport arena though. For example – the use of magnetic levitation for high speed passenger trains increases efficiency via friction reduction. Currently, there are 5 high-speed maglev rail systems in Japan, China and South Korea that use linear electric motors for propulsion.

All of these still move through the atmosphere though. There’s been a lot of talk regarding trains moving into evacuated environments or Vactrains. But the idea, like a whale-sized Hyperloop such as Hyperloop TTs concept is completely impractical and cost-ineffective. The infrastructure needed to support such systems requires far too much material to construct.

To date, the companies that have created the latest rail tech with the objective of increasing speed and efficiency are always looking to improve those elements further. Also, there’s consideration for using alternative power sources and hybrid designs. But reality suggests any further advancements will only extract slight incremental gains. Although it can be pleasurable to travel by train as a passenger, it’s too unsustainable a method that can’t serve near enough people en masse.

The issue is the sheer mass of the infrastructure required to carry the weight of the transport vehicle combined with the load it carries. With rail – this element hasn’t changed since its inception. In addition, moving rail cars carrying freight at any higher speeds will most likely increase accidents. This is what draws attention to the Hyperloop TT concept, mass and weight. It already takes the average freight train moving at 55 Mph one mile to stop. Accidents continue to happen. The original idea presented by Elon Musk wasn’t about a Hyperloop train. More like a bus it seems.

One note for consideration regarding market encroachment concerns of both rail and maritime entities – when it comes to a potential/perceived threat of ET3-Hyperloop tech facilitating their displacement. If current air freight or trucking methods aren’t a concern, then why would a tube transportation solution become any more of a threat? The larger bread and butter heavy loads will still remain on ships and trains as they should.

Our focus subject today is Hyperloop TT (H-TT). Specifically, the focus is on the extremely large size of H-TT’s Hyperloop train like capsules and the very large tubes they would need to move through. Rather than focus on the extreme infrastructure cost of design and buildout, let’s focus on the simple fact that there’s another way to move things around that would normally go inside containers or rail cars. (Forbes Hyperloop Article image and link)

H-TT’s vision is to move large containers inside their massive capsules as a method of moving large shipments from point A to B. It’s important to acknowledge and understand that any tube transport project shouldn’t be designed and built to accommodate outdated shipping and logistics methods. The point is, we’ve already got enough well developed technologies to accommodate those large loads. Trains for the longer leg and trucks for last mile.

Why would anyone want to build an elaborate network of tubes, then move entire containers full of goods inside of them? Is it possible that there’s another way and approach that’s far more efficient and convenient that automates much of the shipping and logistics that are still being used today via trains, trucks, and delivery vans?

The greater question would have to be: what’s a better way that improves shipping and logistics on all levels?

As mentioned, we already have a well-developed shipping and logistics system in place. What technology could be applied in a way that would improve upon the current models? How could an ET3-Hyperloop design using mag lev and electric linear propulsion inside a vacuum improve the scenario in myriad ways that help achieve sustainability goals and objectives – while getting some of the smaller packetized loads to their respective destinations efficiently and cost-effectively?

What design would work best and why? Why would Hyperloop TT’s massive train sized capsule be a misguided approach that will be a costly mistake? This isn’t a pick on H-TT day, it’s just a reality check on vision gone askew that’s not based on reality and our needs going forward. The vision only reflects what we already do today with the added element of moving similar activities inside a vacuum environment. Not necessary for larger payloads.

The answer lies within a smaller design such as ET3’s use of inexpensive maglev tech and linear electric motors to accelerate small pod capsules in a vacuum environment. This idea isn’t new though… Daryl Oster, the inventor of ET3 has been dreaming of the idea and has been at this since childhood. The vacuum environment idea came about while wind tunnel testing at Walla Walla University in the U.S. state of Washington.

The first patent was awarded to ET3 by the USPTO in 1999. That’s 14 years before the Hyperloop-Alpha document was released and about 16 from the time of filing. It’s fair to say that Daryl has spent a lot of time conceiving and developing what appears to be a superior concept in so many ways. So much so that to date, both Virgin Hyperloop One and Hardt are beginning to present ideas that mirror the basic concepts of ET3. Virgin’s efforts have been exhilarating to witness and learn about… and have a development cost to the tune of over $200M USD to date.

That money was spent – first to attempt to prove out, then disprove the Alpha document Hyperloop design idea/concept. Then begin the process of designing and developing a much more efficient and elegant maglev linear motor system that supports a pod in a vacuum state. A move in the right direction at least and more like ET3.

Those are some of the elements of ET3. So much time and money have been wasted. So… getting back to the importance and place tube transport tech will serve and complement existing tech, we’ll now focus on how it will do that and what it can bring to the table. Most importantly, how it will perform transport of freight and people far more efficiently and intelligently.

It’s no secret that automation, AI, autonomous vehicles, and such are in the news every day. We’re absolutely moving in that general direction and things are only going to move that way more quickly as time moves forward. This is where technologies like ET3 shine due to the foundational nature of how the system has been designed to function.

ET3 for example uses smaller size pods that would resemble a small van in cargo space to give an idea of size, say carry up to 3 pallets of cargo. Alternatively, think of a small SUV that can carry up to 6 passengers for that side of things. It also uses automation intelligence for routing capsules.

Either way, the cargo capacity will be at 800-900 Lbs per capsule. The method of routing these pods through the network of tubes allows each pod can be addressed for a set destination. Once addressed, the pod begins its travel path – switching along the way until it exits at the final destination where it slows down with energy-recapturing technology. (reverse linear electric effect) ET3 estimates the maximum pod speed could reach 4000 Mph.

The advantages of shipping smaller loads (think packetized like internet packets) via pod will be extreme efficiency. Greater speed, and smaller loads will allow separate pods to be sent to various destinations that get product close to final delivery at 90% efficiency. From there, trucking – container-sized shipments or smaller vans can move things shorter distances to their final destination. This approach will save energy, reduce CO2 and lower cost of delivery significantly.

The idea of moving large containers through tubes doesn’t make sense when shipments of product can be sent from various global destinations in smaller packetized pods where those shipments can then be aggregated at the last mile delivery location to then be trucked.

The correct design will change the entire shipping logistics equation that everything needs to be consolidated earlier in the process, then sorted at facilities along the way until things get where they need to be. That process takes a lot of time and energy and the cost is significant. Not to mention, the carbon footprint aspect. Due to the high efficiency rate, maintaining inventories in more real time sustainably will be possible with smaller shipments.

If we’re going to introduce a new 5th mode transport technology, then why not think it through with a vision that’s in line with the potential 5th mode promises with the elements of speed, efficiency, and automation add to the mix?

Hyperloop – TT fails at this in every way. They need to go back to the drawing board or consult the people who are already light years ahead of everyone on this concept and have the patents to prove it. Otherwise, their currently active competition is already moving toward smaller pods and tube network infrastructure.

The first call they should be making is to Daryl Oster and ET3 before wasting more time or another dime of investors’ money. Also considering the long term effect of not addressing carbon-releasing activities sooner due to time wasted in ignorance. To date, the Hyperloop TT efforts – any IP that’s been generated has recently been sold off. I’d be curious to learn what those patents are and what value they could bring to the entire effort? Also hoping for the sake of those investors that the patents aren’t specific to the larger design ideas planned by the original H-TT effort.

The biggest issue that’s sandbagged this entire effort of all the players engaged to date, deals with the misleading concept and vision presented by the core design aspect in the Hyperloop-Alpha document. The core promise presented there that I believe got everyone’s attention was the element of open source. Immediately, we as humans seem to go to free as in royalty-free use. I believe that’s been a huge mistake that every Hyperloop project should step back for a moment to consider the broader landscape. Spending >$200 million for R&D to discover what others already know doesn’t indicate much effort toward the importance of due diligence. How much more time and money will be spent as a way of reinventing a wheel that’s already been invented?

Every effort that’s been launched to date has taken and run with Elon Musk’s vision of what a tube transportation system should look and function like… while glancing over his statement regarding ET3 without having a speck of curiosity about what the company is and what they’ve accomplished in terms of concept and vision.

Business and investments in new ideas and ventures typically require deep and well-thought-out due diligence – why has everyone skipped this most critical step while considering such a venture?

How to travel hypersonic safely, Hyperloop space travel does

Hyperloop suggests hypersonic travel, but in reality, the very name is a diversion away from ET3’s near-vacuum environment version that’s a hypersonic Hyperloop. Hyperloop’s initial design intent was always limited to supersonic status.

ET3 and the latest Hyperloop developments agree that using fans and air hockey bearings is a dead-bad idea… and what about the “rail gun” thing? All disproven and dropped from any serious effort that’s gotten significant traction to date – not to mention using larger bus-like capsules and the idea that it’s a hyperloop train.

In order to move at hypersonic speed – like 4000 Mph, no trains & smaller capsules. Hyperloop One is leading things as there’s talk of smaller capsules and pod caravans that will switch tubes automatically to reach respective destinations. Think Internet for people and things.

Using a low-pressure atmosphere travel path and fans to thrust a hyperloop pod along the route, Elon’s idea simply sandbags the greater potential of vacuum environment travel – it’s essentially a highjacking of a much greater idea that preceded it called ET3 – Evacuated Tube Transportation Technology. So…

Let’s call it HyperloopET3 (HET3) because ET3 at hypersonic 4000 Mph potential doesn’t need to excuse a 750 Mph limitation because of a flawed, inferior design. Atmosphere in the tubes creates drag – a throwback design to the dark ages. Today’s Hyperloop and ET3 go way beyond that and Elon’s original Hyperloop-Alpha presentation.

We”ve heard him explaining away – why Hyperloop can’t exceed the 750 Mph mark, but do we know and understand why? Right before the 57-page Hyperloop-Alpha document appeared on Tesla and Space-X websites, Elon had a visit from Daryl Oster and ET3 principles who weren’t for lack of brilliant ideas, but lacked the funding and authentication to thrust tube transport tech into the spotlight.

Musk’s document did one thing for sure – it thrust HET3 smack into the limelight where it needed to be. We can be thankful for that.

Elon’s top tech talent at Space-X heard Daryl Oster of ET3 present a well-thought-out design that was light years ahead of Elon’s idea… yet, Mr. Musk failed to write a check that would have made history and accelerated the progress of Hyperloop-ET3 technology by 10 years… instead, companies like Virgin Hyperloop-Hyperloop One spent a great deal of time and money discovering what Elon already knew.

That a hypersonic transport system would work best using capsules, magnetic levitation and linear accelerator motors in a near vacuum – space-like environment. Musk knew because his best people had already told him that ET3 was far more elegant and advanced than his speed-diluted 20th century Hyperloop idea. It’s safe to say that most of the Hyperloop efforts have moved on to 21st-century-worthy ideas – thank goodness.

The good news though, despite Elon’s efforts to slow things down – companies such as Hyperloop One have figured it out and are now employing many of the original ideas patented by ET3 as far back as 1999. In addition, by posting and promoting the general idea of traveling in tubes as opposed to riding on rails – has put the entire concept into the spotlight.

For example, when the Hyperloop-Alpha document was first released to the media, that same media was clueless and had nowhere to go but speak with Daryl Oster and Nick Garzilli. Both were on most of the major talking head forums that evening – why? Because there was no one else who could speak intelligently about the topic. The concept was far too new to a surprised and uneducated media not built to address dramatic shifts.

Unfortunately for all the funded efforts to date that have plowed hundreds of $millions in R&D efforts toward the original Hyperloop idea – that’s money and time lost while we continue to wait for Hyperloop’s promiss. It’s nearly 10 years on and the best ideas are beginning to finally take form.

The best example to date with an actual working model is Hyperloop One (Virgin Hyperloop effort). It’s going to be interesting to see the reactions of those efforts when they figure out that Hyperloop’s original concept was more an effort to hijack any real potential. But hey, maybe they just had to learn the hard way? It’s been difficult to watch the hard-knock schooling while knowing we could be so much further ahead by now.

The obvious reason for his textbook magic misdirection is revealed in the beginning of the Alpha document. There it becomes crystal clear that Elon acknowledged ET3 while using psychology that diverted any interest away from that effort. Secondly, within the document, he suggests that flying supersonic planes into space, then landing on the far side of the planet – would be a more economical and better approach. How? You’re still going to have to deal with terminals, layovers, boarding, un-boarding – basically, you’ll have to perform your own gate switching. Not to mention the energy factor and cost.

That suggestion alone tells a lot if you read between the lines. It presents Hyperloop as a slowed down version that can’t compete with his dreams of faster airplanes. By diverting any attention away from ET3’s better approach via labeling it a “failed effort”, that never went anywhere, he effectively manipulated attention to his own idea. Yet, it’s looking like ET3s ideas haven’t failed at all as momentum suggests efforts are embracing the company’s 21st century ideas.

Let’s step back and take a look, put on our thinking caps for a moment to see why this diversionary tactic also contains a flawed set of assumptions…

  • First – the presented assumption of the 750 Mph limit is based on a flawed pneumatic design scheme. Pneumatic means there’s still atmosphere in the tube travel pathways. Movement is subject to aerodynamic effects.
  • Second – atmosphere is just that… air, whether it’s lower density created by a partial vacuum – some air still remains that keeps the entire design in an aerodynamic state. This is where the limit is created – by design.
  • Third – Musk knew of the ET3 design before finishing the Hyperloop-Alpha document – he was aware of the idea of using maglev and linear motors. He was also aware of ET3 patents that suggest using vacuum without atmospheric conditions inside the tubes.
  • Fouth – Hey, the guy’s really into space rocket travel and fully understands the efficiencies and characteristics a vacuum travel path affords. There’s no better travel environment we know of because it’s nature’s very own and best design.
  • Fifth – Let’s assume that Elon knows the difference and give him his due of being smart – unfortunately though, it appears that he’s used the power of his influence and authentication to both promote Tube Transport Technology while injecting a slowdown via design that renders the technology to shorter trips – then explaining why it will never compete with really fast airplanes. Basically, it’s manipulation and an attempt to control the outcome.
  • Sixth – When someone rises to a place of authority or their success places them in a state of being authentic and capable, we don’t usually question them as a culture. We usually jump on board and go with what they say is viable and authentic. That’s on us really… but it’s also fair to say that most don’t know the differences and can become easily misled. It seems more mis-leadership when someone of high profile abuses their privilege and influence because something that’s coming about like ET3 creates a disruption of their ideas or plans. Simply put – conflict of interest.

Also, even though Musk claimed Hyperloop to be his own original idea – there was an effort to reach out to him and Richard Branson by several ET3 participants including myself around the time Elon began to speak of his idea cryptically. He claims he didn’t get the idea from anyone else… but honestly, it seems doubtful that’s true. Tube transportation wouldn’t have been on his radar, he was too involved, engaged and focused as he needed to be with the projects of that time – Space-X and Tesla.

The Hyperloop idea was originally presented by him against the backdrop as a railing against highspeed rail vs something better. Can’t argue there… but if you’re aware of something better, why not jump to that instead of an incremental idea that’s already based on outdated ideas and methods?

Maybe the HSR backdrop was another misdirection to keep attention off of ET3’s more elegant-superior design? Sadly, California along with the federal government continues to promote and drive things in the direction – a deployment of HSR. The cost unfortunately is astronomical for a technology that dates back to the 1800s. Funny thing about this too… relating to our conditioning as a culture is that many are still calling it a Hyperloop Train.

Bottom line here is this: The whole air hockey – air bearing – fan – rail gun thing that was supposed to levitate and move people and things through the tubes has been abandoned by anyone who has put money up toward research and development. These ideas have been solidly disproven by the Virgin Hyperloop effort.

The conclusions are absolute – near vacuum travel environment, maglev and linear motors are the way to go. That’s ET3 with patents awarded starting in 1999 – what Daryl Oster figured out long before Elon Musk had any idea. We should be giving credit to the true inventor instead of crediting an imposter for hijacking another’s brilliant ideas. Yet, when you read about Hyperloop – it’s presented most of the time as Elon Musk’s Hyperloop… completely inaccurate.

So, where do we go from here? What’s the larger promise we should be focusing on and looking at when it comes to the potential promise of HET3 technology? What should U.S. Transport Secretary Pete Buttegieg be thinking about and focusing on as he moves forward with supporting ideas that have been proven – yet are now outdated?

A hint, Europe and much of the world, including China, India and the Middle East have serious effort and initiatives for developing Hyperloop technologies. Euorpe has gone as far as beginning to set standards for networks… they’re serious. They’ve also been there, done that when it comes to rail and HSR application and use. Why should or would the U.S. invest in technology that’s now being left behind for better?

Where do these ideas come from? Here’s a list of words and phrases, commonly used search terms that summarize what people seem to believe and think about Hyperloop: Hyperloop Train, Elon Musk Hyperloop, Hyperloop speed, Hyperloop cost, Elon Musk Hyperloop speed, Hyperloop one, Virgin Hyperloop stock, Elon Musk Hyperloop update… not to mention The Boring Company.

Then there are the questions: Why did Elon Musk stop the Hyperloop? Is Elon Musk still working on Hyperloop? What is the current status of the Hyperloop? When Hyperloop will start in world? At least the last two seem more relevant to the topic. The “when” question is the one everyone wants to know!

There’s a lot of mention of Elon Musk, but I have to ask why? Why when the ideas that are now moving forward are honestly a lot better and in line with what we should be expecting and getting from a properly designed and built hypersonic tube transportation system?

See you in the next segment!

Virgin-less: Hyperloop – One Goes solo

The split off of Virgin from their Hyperloop involvement has taken everyone by surprise along with Hyperloop One’s stated intent to abandon the idea of transporting people. They claim they’re only focusing on freight. Is this a permanent strategy or a step back to get the system going with freight first, and passengers later? And why the Virgin exit?

Both situations create more questions than answers but let’s take a look at things and hopefully find some valid perspective. To me at least, the idea of being able to travel at hypersonic speed – a real potential of traveling in a vacuum state – is extremely attractive and a major reason I’d want to switch my long-distance travel mode away from flying. How about you?

Why would anyone want to stop flying? Why travel in a tube environment that’s controlled and in a vacuum? Are there advantages?

The obvious reasons are: Flying is affected by weather. The travel path since it’s in the atmosphere, is subject to whatever the earth’s weather decides it’s going to throw at you. Lightening, storms, wind, rain, clouds, fog… then there’s always the other planes or some foreign object that might enter the flight path. More reasons why are stated below.

Traveling in a vacuum – space is a vacuum for instance and the oldest and most proven form of travel happens in our universe all the time. For example, our Earth home travels around the sun perpetually in a vacuum. It’s able to do that because a vacuum removes all forms of atmosphere. Just like maglev removes rolling resistance, vacuum environments remove travel path resistance by removing any elemental molecules from that environment.

The advantages of a vacuum travel path are multiple. Efficiency increases dramatically – for example, ET3 has calculated that a 90% efficiency rate can be gained in a vacuum.

Speed – a vacuum allows anything within it to travel at much higher speeds without disturbance. No air molecules means an almost unlimited speed potential. The only limiting factors would be the curvature of the earth and gravity’s effect including g forces where tubes have to have curves, go up or downhill. 4000 Mph is the estimated limit assuming radius of curves are no smaller than 250 miles and you want to keep g forces limited to 1 g.

Why maglev and linear motors?

Maglev isn’t a new idea, it’s been applied to six high-speed rail projects. China has three, South Korea – has two and Japan has one. In the case of train technology – maglev reduces rolling component friction by eliminating anything that touches anything else. Wheels and rails touch one another and cause resistance. All the axles and components that support rolling wheels also contribute to rolling resistance.

In the case of trains and Hyperloop-ET3 (HET3), if you use maglev, then you’ve got to use linear motors. What are they? If you’ve ever ridden on a modern-day roller coaster and felt extreme acceleration, then you’ve experienced the power and potential of linear motors. The difference in the application – trains vs HET3 would be the mass and weight. Trains weigh a lot and require a lot of energy to move them and whatever’s inside.

In addition, trains still move through the atmosphere so, will always have speed limitations. HET3 requires a lot less energy to get a capsule going. As, HET3 weighs a lot less and is a new design from the ground up that performs inside a vacuum state, like space – so the application of linear motors can be thoughtfully integrated into this new system while unleashing the greater potential they offer. Travel pods weigh a lot less than trains. An additional advantage with HET3 designs is the ability to recapture energy through regenerative braking. ET3 suggests 90% of the energy used to move a pod can be reclaimed using HTSM maglev.

Why Hypersonic speed – aren’t planes fast enough? What about Hyperloop’s supersonic 750 Mph?

The simple answer would be – get where you’re going a lot faster while spending a lot less time sitting, waiting to get there. How much time do we spend in planes and at airports – waiting? A typical flight to S.E. Asia, Bangkok from West Coast U.S. for instance – usually takes 20 hours in the best circumstances. U.S, domestic flights with layovers, boarding, and un-boarding, unless you can get a direct flight, have moved into the 10+ hour category. If Hyperloop were limited to 750 Mph, you’d probably still get there a lot faster than flying. Speed counts for sure.

Airplane travel at sub-sonic speed is faster than a car or train, but it’s still slow. And, it takes a lot of energy to get a plane to fly and stay flying while reaching cruising altitude and speed. Hyperloop in a vacuum will definitely be faster. It will also be a lot more efficient… it has to be. Current sub-sonic airplane travel is just too slow when newer technology has come along to displace it. Although, stated in the Alpha-Hyperloop document gives a peek inside the minds of aerospace dreamers and thinkers. They’d like to keep us in planes, including Elon Musk. Also, flying at supersonic speed will consume even more energy. It will also require that we briefly head into space, then re-enter at the desired location for landing.

There’s a big problem with all this though… If the technology to fly faster costs more to develop and build, if planes use even more energy than today – we can assume that the cost to fly faster will increase. That’s a big problem in the larger realm – eight billion people now inhabit our planet. How will the idea of supersonic airplanes be able to serve the vast majority of travelers who won’t be able to afford it? The larger argument of staying on course with advanced aviation doesn’t hold up.

Unless you’re creating an industry that serves an exclusive group who can afford it, most passengers won’t be flying supersonic. Also, it’s highly doubtful that airplanes are going to get you there at 4000 Mph… then you’ve got the reality of the terminal system that’s completely broken. It’s antiquated and archaic when comparing today’s current air travel design to HET3 designs such as Virgin Hyperloop, Hardt Hyperloop and ET3 – all utilize switched pods that eliminate layovers and plane transfers. Switching changes everything.

What’s the idea behind pod travel path switching & what’s it do for you?

When the ideas started coming out about a vision of Hyperloop travel and what that would look like, it resembled the traditional airport terminals with the idea of making them more like Singapore with all it has to offer. It’s a nice idea, but… with all technological change and utilizing the right/smartest design, the idea of long layovers and lounging in terminals won’t be necessary. Those pretending to be visionaries were clueless about the power and potential, HET3 will eliminate anything that resembles today’s terminal designs.

The people realized immediately that Elon Musk’s “Hyperloop Train” idea could be actually something, never met Daryl Oster and didn’t research the design elegance of ET3. Elon Musk knew about ET3 though – before he published the Hyperloop-Alpha document, but the publication effectively misguided Hyperloop participants away from ET3s ideas. Research and development efforts have cost a lot of money that has finally led to the discovery of Daryl’s ideas… now everyone is thinking along the lines of ET3. But, it they’re not, they’re complete fools following the wrong lead and it will cost them dearly.

When you get into your car and drive somewhere and want to get there – no frills like, do you want to stop and lounge someplace? Usually, the answer would be no unless you like traveling that way or your journey is a long one. When we travel by car, we do that because it’s most convenient and serves our needs best. It also can save a lot of time vs bus or other scheduled methods that use terminals. Most people’s objective when traveling is to get where they’re going. That’s typically the highest priority.

Essentially, switching eliminates the need for elaborate terminals – with HET3, you won’t be waiting for connections, no long layovers. How that’s accomplished is through switching pods during travel. Each pod has a unique destination. Think of the internet and how information travels to get to your screen. It doesn’t stop along the way and wait for a physical handshake – no one has to carry your request by hand and walk it to the next flight so it gets to you eventually. When you put in your request, within seconds, you’ll get a result.

HET3 works very much the same way, except now we’re switching pods in a physical network. An internet for moving people and things. Except when you get inside a small travel pod that seats up to six people, you program your destination and go. Your journey begins when the pod launches and ends when you get there without stopping. Along the travel route, your pod switches to the appropriate tubes in the network until you get there. It’s seamless and extremely efficient – most convenient like your car, but no traffic and goes a lot faster! No terminals required, only stations large and small for getting in and getting out.

Hyperloop – What’s the Big Deal?

So far, all the Hyperloop talk is around a travel limit of 750 Mph or 1200 Kph – yet, what’s that limitation based on? What no one realizes, or what they’re not saying is this: in the past 9+ years since development efforts began, much of the original Hyperloop design has changed. Today, what remains are – tubes, low pressure – now lower, pods and the Hyperloop name. Sir. Richard Branson and Virgin Hyperloop – Hyperloop One have contributed the most promising development to date that’s disproven most of the original Space-X Tesla Alpha-Hyperloop – Elon Musk idea. the original limit was based on leaving some atmosphere inside the travel path. Remove that and you’ll really fly.

The changes – lower pressure, now a vacuum travel path environment, magnetic levitation, linear motors to accelerate pods, pod switching and routing, Virgin’s caravan concept where pods travel nose to tail along the route until switched and routed off to desired destinations for whatever’s in the pod is the right way to go, like ET3 patented as far back as 1999. No mention of fans and air cushion bearings that were the original basis of the Hyperloop design. At best, the scrapped ideas were more of a misdirection – a sandbag effort to limit Tube Transport tech’s greater promise and potential. The flip side? A vacuum environment allows travel speeds to be much faster – like 4000 Mph or 6500 Kph.

What’s left then of the original Hyperloop idea presented in Elon Musk’s 57-58 page Hyperloop-Alpha document?

This idea isn’t new. But much of Hyperloop will become reality in time. If that wasn’t the case, Richard Branson wouldn’t have invested so much in the idea.

So, it wasn’t Elon Musk’s idea. Musk says so at the beginning of the Hyperloop-Alpha Document. And yet, everyone believes he’s the inventor. Many who’ve written about it also think Hyperloop is a train. But, they’re dead wrong and clueless for saying so. What Elon Musk has done that deserves credit would have to be his suggestion that a system that uses tubes to move around at high speeds is in fact an authentic idea. Credit where it’s due, right? …name isn’t so bad either!

The effort that’s done the most so far would have to be Virgin Hyperloop. Recently though, Virgin decided to step back from the Hyperloop One effort and retract the use of its name. Yet, they still have their promotional efforts and website up. those will most likely come down as the effort has stated they’re switching to all freight – no passenger transport.

Yet, the effort built a test track in the desert, built pods, did and paid for a significant amount of research and development that resulted in the first manned loop test flight. Pretty impressive, right? Even more interesting though is how the small capsule that safely carried the first humans inside an evacuated tube environment has no resemblance to the original air-propelled design that Musk proposed in 2013.

Actually, There’s almost nothing other than a tube and a capsule that now rides on maglev and uses roller coaster type linear motor technology to move the pod. The original hyperloop idea is basically dead as it should be because there are so many better ways to levitate and move a pod safely that use much less energy. Also, the pods can move a lot faster than everything that’s being presented so far.

The cool and interesting thing here is how Virgin Hyperloop and another competitor – Hardt Hyperloop have concluded that designing switching and routing technology and capabilities into the network – pods will be able to move to any alternative tube along the route, or exit at anytime.

Now this idea of switching isn’t new either. There’s a list of patents dating back to 1999 granted to ET3. The interesting thing about ET3 is that they figured a lot of this stuff out first before building anything. Think first, then build after you’ve thought long and hard. Saves a lot of money!

It’s unfortunate that Elon Musk didn’t follow through with the proposal that he back and support ET3 instead of designing up the original Hyperloop plans that guaranteed a much slower system than ET3. Unfortunate as well, because companies like Virgin Hyperloop have spent a lot of money that turned out to be a lesson on how not to do an effective tube transport system.

But, that’s what’s happened. What few people know is that Daryl Oster, President and CEO of ET3 visited Elon Musk at Space-X in the summer of 2013, just before he published and released the Hyperloop-Alpha document. Do you know what Musk’s own people said? You should scrap your idea and back Daryl’s because it’s a much better and a more elegant idea – it makes a lot more sense. The people telling Elon this are engineers and physicists that understand when something makes a lot of sense.

But there’s most likely a very good reason that’s stated in the Alpha document referring to aeronautics that fly above supersonic speed, leave the atmosphere briefly into space, then head back down to earth somewhere on the other side of the globe. That seems like a great reason to attach a boat anchor to Hyperloop that uses air at a lower pressure as the travel support and propulsion medium. It’s pretty obvious, looking at it all today, especially considering how the major drivers and developers of Hyperloop efforts have dropped the pneumatic element.

Also, looking at the Hyperloop-Alpha document, it looks more like diversion and distraction psychology to divert anyone interested in the idea away from involvement with ET3. But, just like everyone listening to Elon Musk say that tube transport is viable, they’d also listen to him if he says that ET3 and other projects haven’t panned out or have “fatal flaws.” Interesting to hear him say that when Daryl Oster of ET3 in fact met with Elon to discuss supporting the effort and design, right? He could have just as easily written a check right there at the recommendation of his own people.

For a guy that’s done so much for bringing a needed concept to the foreground, it’s unfortunate that the sandbagging effect he laid out has slowed down the development and eventual deployment of such a promising technology.

Of the two people identified that I and other ET3 licensees involved in the ET3 project early on in November 2008, one was Elon Musk and the other was Richard Branson. It’s unfortunate that Richard Branson and Virgin have spent so much money to date on the design that’s turned out to be flawed after all. Now, much of the designs and vision going forward are looking more and more like ET3.

There’s a lot that we can talk about when it comes to tube transport technology, and we’ll get into that soon in another upcoming post.


let’s look at Musk’s published 58-page hyperloop-Alpha document… What’s it say on Page 2 about Et3?

“The underlying motive for a statewide mass transit system is a good one. It would be great to have an alternative to flying or driving, but obviously only if it is actually better than flying or driving. The train in question would be both slower, more expensive to operate (if unsubsidized) and less safe by two orders of magnitude than flying, so why would anyone use it?

If we are to make a massive investment in a new transportation system, then the return should by rights be equally massive. Compared to the alternatives, it should ideally be:

  •   Safer
  •   Faster
  •   Lower cost
  •   More convenient
  •   Immune to weather
  •   Sustainably self-powering
  •   Resistant to Earthquakes
  •   Not disruptive to those along the routeIs there truly a new mode of transport – a fifth mode after planes, trains, cars and boats – that meets those criteria and is practical to implement? Many ideas for a system with most of those properties have been proposed and should be acknowledged, reaching as far back as Robert Goddard’s to proposals in recent decades by the Rand Corporation and ET3.Unfortunately, none of these have panned out. As things stand today, there is not even a short distance demonstration system operating in test pilot mode anywhere in the world, let alone something that is robust enough for public transit. They all possess, it would seem, one or more fatal flaws(?) that prevent them from coming to fruition. (ET3 approached Musk at Space-X in 2013, presenting the idea with the hopes of gaining his support.) Constraining the ProblemThe Hyperloop (or something similar) is, in my opinion, the right solution for the specific case of high traffic city pairs that are less than about 1500 km or 900 miles apart. Around that inflection point, I suspect that supersonic air travel ends up being faster and cheaper. With a high enough altitude and the right geometry, the sonic boom noise on the ground would be no louder than current airliners, so that isn’t a showstopper. Also, a quiet supersonic plane immediately solves every long distance city pair without the need for a vast new worldwide infrastructure. (Let’s be real – how safe will SUPERSONICAIR travel be? It will need to become totally inclusive and accessable to everyone. Can it? If so, how far off is that reality?)” Site construction in progress… please stay tuned! Thx 

Life on a Chicago winter morning… you wake up, open the blinds, It’s cold, windy, icy and snowy!

Chicago gets super cold in the winter, doesn’t it? You’d rather stay home, sitting in your favorite chair, sipping hot cocoa… than get ready to go out in the unfriendly elements, heading to work …am I right?

There’s a lot of reasons you don’t want to leave the comfort of your cozy home, winter elements can be dangerous for traveling, heck, even walking when it’s icy. Wouldn’t it really nice to just call in sick and instead of staying home…

You head down to your neighborhood Evacuated Tube Transport Station – Let’s shorten Hyperloop Evacuated Tube Transport to HETT, Ok?

When you arrive, hopefully safely without slipping and falling on the ice, you get inside the station, go to the pod loading section, pay about $100, get in your pod, it closes and gets ready while the air lock system creates a vacuum and prepares your pod for long distance travel – then you dial in your destination… Someplace sunny and warm like Florida or better, Hawaii!

Or maybe you love winter – a ski trip in the Swiss Alps is the medicine you’re looking for… either way, you’re going someplace that suits you. Once you dial in your preferred destination, the pod slips into the network entry tube, starts to accelerate… when it’s up to speed, merges with the local pod traffic flow… automatically.

You’re on your way and you’ve chosen Hawaii. Now you’re dreamin! Imagine how pleasant it will be when you arrive. You turn on the entertainment screen, then choose something educational.  The ride, once you’re routed and slip into the international tube network, will take less than 2 hours when you accelerate and reach 4000 Mph! It’s completely silent and smooth as silk.

Did you notice there’s no mention of slogging to the airport, no buying the ticket online, no researching for the best flight at the last minute? No standing in line, no being exposed to thousands of people who might be sick… and worse, get you sick too …and no stops or layovers!

No schedule, no accommodating airline schedules designed today for their highest profit, not your convenience and definitely not to make your life more enjoyable and easier… It’s like you went out to your car, and decide to drive to Hawaii and it’s easy – it only takes a little time to get there.

Let’s face it, traveling long distance today isn’t easy, unless you’ve got a pile of money and access to a private jet, am I right? Reality is, most of us don’t… and don’t forget about the weather and potential delays! Realities of long distance travel by air usually suck. Even a private jet won’t get you to Hawaii in less than two hours.

And guess what? You’ve still got to be back at work tomorrow for that “important” meeting! Try to do that today… seems a lot like we’re more prisoners to current transport modes and their outdated design, doesn’t it?

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