“The FluxJet is built like an aircraft without wings, and it operates like a train”

JEC Composites Magazine talked with Ryan Jansen, CTO and Co-founder of Transpod, about the future of train mobility and the role composites play in lightweighting and performances. This interview has been published in the JEC Composites Magazine N°151.

“The FluxJet is built like an aircraft without wings, and it operates like a train”

2 minutes, 50 secondes

Based on groundbreaking innovations in propulsion and fossil-fuel-free clean energy systems, the FluxJet is a fully electric vehicle developed by TransPod, that is a hybrid between an aircraft and a train. Featuring technological leaps in contactless power transmission and a new field of physics called veillance flux, the FluxJet travels in a protected guideway at over 1,000 km/h faster than a jet and three times as fast as a highspeed train.

JEC Composites Magazine: At the crossroads of scientific research, innovation and infrastructure development, can you summarize the FluxJet project in a few key words and dates?
Ryan Jansen: The FluxJet is a vehicle designed to travel at over 1,000 km/h, for ground transportation between major cities. It’s built like an aircraft without wings, and it operates like a train. Its history started in 2016, when TransPod decided to invent a new vehicle and write the first patents for a future “FluxJet”. The idea was to use cutting-edge research on plasma to deliver electric power to the vehicle, to allow it to operate contactlessly, overcoming the limitations of high-speed trains. The idea was to overcome the high cost of Maglev by putting the propulsion system on the vehicle instead of the track, to simplify the infrastructure.

TransPod Inc. began development of the FluxJet in 2017 with high-speed tests which verified the technology at full voltage and high speeds. After being developed in secret, the FluxJet was announced to the public in 2022, and further innovations for it continue to be developed, at the same time as full-scale engineering of the vehicle scales up.

JEC Composites Magazine: What needs does it meet? What objectives will it eventually achieve?
Ryan Jansen: Environmental benefits, advanced technology, and highspeed transportation (alleviating congestion), are the hot-button issues that the FluxJet addresses. We are lucky enough to have a solution that can be a world-first, in addressing these needs in a safe and practical system that can be deployed and customised for various regions.

Reaching a top speed of 1,000 km/h FluxJet, the Canadian passenger train by Transpod, is faster than a plane
©Transpod Inc.

JEC Composites Magazine: What mechanical challenges do the pods face during their operation?
Ryan Jansen: The vehicle faces aerodynamic loads on it skin, as well as vibration from very slight unevenness of the infrastructure, which is primarily arrested by intelligent control of the levitation engines.

JEC Composites Magazine: What role do composite materials play in the realization of FluxJet? How did they come to be used against metallic solutions?
Ryan Jansen: Both composites and metals are strategically integrated throughout the vehicle, to use them for their best advantages. For example, the structural struts for the engines must sustain very large loads and yield gracefully in case of an emergency landing overload scenario, whereas the vehicle fuselage skin and select components of the vehicle’s forward and aft inner machinery areas are very different applications.

JEC Composites Magazine: How is your research and development organised for the integration of these materials in the final solution?
Ryan Jansen: We have vibration modelling and testing in a unique combination that integrates several different scales, frequency ranges, amplitude ranges, and modalities. For example, we combine physical tests at the 1-100 mm scale which includes plasma bombardment tests, along with macro-scale computer models working at the full scale of the vehicle, and the data and signals are exchanged between these different universes (simulation and physical) often in real-time. Similarly, our aerodynamics work considers many different effects at small scales and large scales. Even the effect of seismic vibration on the infrastructure forms part of…

Want to read the end of this interview?
Subscribe for free now and access to the entire interview published in the JEC Composites Magazine N°151. Available in print, digital and via the mobile application.

More information www.transpod.com