Apparently not content with lumbering across the country at a mere 350 km/h, China is now working on developing technology that will boost its max speed all the way up to 4,000 km/h.
Earlier today, the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC), one of the nation’s major space contractors, announced that it had begun research and development into a new, futuristic type of transport which would operate via supersonic “near ground flight.”
The system would presumably be similar to that of the Hyperloop, proposed earlier this decade by Elon Musk, in which capsules would fly at ultrafast speeds down reduced-pressure tubes, dramatically reducing travel times.
Of course, the CASIC isn’t looking to reach speeds of 4,000 km/h right away. The first stage of the company’s plan will be to create an intercity network of these “flying trains” operating at 1,000 km/h. In the second phase, this network would be extended and the max speed of the pods increased to 2,000 km/h. Finally, in the third stage, the speed would be boosted all the way up to 4,000 km/h — five times the speed of civil aviation aircraft today — and would run between countries as part of the Belt and Road Initiative.
Last year, China’s CRRC Crop, the world’s largest train manufacturer, started talking with Hyperloop Technologies Inc about opportunities for investment and collaboration, though nothing appears to have come from those talks so far. Earlier this year, another US startup began making noise with promises of its “hyper chariot system” which would be capable of achieving 4,000 mph in speed.
Meanwhile, we’re still waiting for that high-speed line between China and the US.
[Images via Sina]
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