Just how original are Elon Musk’s designs for the Hyperloop?
Daryl Oster’s design for the ET3 has capsules weighing about 400 pounds that would could carry up to six people at speeds (in the initial design) of 370 mph. But the capsules could eventually get up to 4,000 mph (that’s Mach 5) in straight, unpopulated areas. That’s faster than any known aircraft (hence the ET3’s trademarked tagline “Space Travel On Earth”). The capsules would ride on a cushion of air and be propelled by a system of coordinated acceleration devices. Oster won his first patent for ETT in 1999. His associates and licensees have won several related patents for his ET3 system since. The most recent in 2007 was for a vehicle control system. Many press outlets have featured ET3 over the years, but most have been skeptical if not dismissive. In April 2012, design site Core77 featured pictures, a video, and a writeup of ET3, saying it made “outright incredible claims.”