China’s planned supersonic maglev transport in evacuated tubes

China Aerospace Science and Industrial Corporation (CASIC) has said it will build a supersonic superconducting magnetic levitation (maglev) tansportation system.

Nextbigfuture covered the CASIC announcement a few days ago. There is some additional information about the staging of development plans. NOTE: This is not a hyperloop. CASIC is looking to make partial to fully evacuated tubes with maglev. The less air is in the tubes then the less friction and resistance there is. Hyperloop is subsonic and uses a fan at the front to move the air around the capsule.

The company announced on August 30 its plans for an intercontinental hyperloop train with a top speed of over 2,300 miles per hour, or Mach 3.

The network would consist of two tubes per line—each tube is strictly one-way only—with built in maglev systems, and would be powered in large part by the solar panels on top of the tubes. Given the high speeds and high-traffic density of T Flight capsules at any time, operations would be highly automated, and possibly AI-aided.

CASIC has researched and registered 200 patents for the T Flight, aiming to finish research in 2020. Liu Shiquan, CASIC’s Deputy CEO, said that CASIC is aiming to partner with 20 domestic and international companies to realize the first stage of the “flying train” plan.

Stage 1 : build a regional network of capsules that zip some 8 million people a year around Wuhan, China. Speeds would range between 370 and 620 miles per hour.
Stage 2 : build a national network of 1,200-miles-per-hour partially evacuated tubes across China beginning in 2027. This Phase 2 network would in theory link cities like Shanghai, Chengdu, and Beijing.
Stage 3: Mach-3 flying trains around the world.