HYPED and 'The Flying Podsman' compete in international hyperloop pod competition

'The Flying Podsman': HYPED's 2019 hyperloop pod prototye, at the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition in California
'The Flying Podsman': HYPED's 2019 hyperloop pod prototye, at the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition in California
Our HYPED team recently travelled to Los Angeles, California to compete in the international SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition 2019 on Sunday 21 June 2019.

Following months of preparation, the team and their hyperloop pod protoype ‘The Flying Podsman’ journeyed over 5,000 miles to SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne to compete alongside 20 of the best hyperloop teams in the world.

They were the only UK-based team to qualify for the final stage of the competition this year.

The Hyperloop concept

The hyperloop concept, which has been popularised by tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, is a vision of future mass transportation which would see electrically propelled pods travel through near-vacuum tubes at speeds comparable to aircraft. If commercialised, the technology would potentially see a journey such as Edinburgh to London shortened to 50 minutes.

The Flying Podsman

This year’s pod – christened ‘The Flying Podsman’ in a nod to the famous express steam locomotive – featured a host of innovative design and technical features, including custom-made magnetic wheels for propulsion, carbon fibre aluminium honeycomb composite chassis and a fully autonomous software.

Competition stages

After assembling the pod in LA, the team faced a complex series of mechanical, propulsion and electronics tests at the SpaceX headquarters which they needed to pass in order to face the ultimate stage of the competition – a run in SpaceX’s hyperloop tube.

Unfortunately, despite passing most of these tests, the team encountered a last-minute technical issue with one of their mechanical components which prevented them from reaching the tube run stage.


Only four teams were able to test their pods in the tube – EPFLoop, Swissloop, Delft and TUMunich. For the fourth year running, TUMunich were crowned winners after setting a speed record of just under 300mph.

A huge well done to all HYPED team members for making it to the finals, and thanks to their sponsors and supporters; in particular gold sponsors, Cirrus Logic, Skyscanner and Solvay. 

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