TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today applauded news of Wichita-based Spirit AeroSystems’ new partnership with Virgin Hyperloop on a groundbreaking travel venture. The collaboration will help to solidify a hyperloop prototype with the efforts of Spirit AeroSystems engineers, fabricators, builders, supply chain and certification experts, and technicians.
“I’m pleased that Virgin Hyperloop has partnered with one of Kansas’ biggest and most reputable manufacturers, Spirit AeroSystems,” Governor Kelly said. “Spirit has been an important contributor to our state for many years, including its recent partnership with Vyaire Medical to produce ventilators in the wake of COVID-19. With this new announcement, Spirit is continuing to demonstrate why Kansas is the preeminent destination for business to grow and thrive.”
“As one of the most credible aerospace-grade structures companies in the world, Spirit AeroSystems provides a strong fit for our team as we look to build out strong partners in the hyperloop ecosystem,” Josh Giegel, Chief Technology Officer of Virgin Hyperloop, said.
Hyperloop is a new mode of transportation designed to eliminate the barriers of distance and time for both people and freight. It can travel at speeds approaching 700 mph, connecting cities like metro stops — and it has zero direct emissions. With hyperloop, vehicles — called pods — accelerate gradually via electric propulsion through a low-pressure tube. The pod floats along the track using magnetic levitation and glides at airline speeds for long distances due to ultra-low aerodynamic drag.
The hyperloop supply chain is unique in the way it integrates existing technology with proprietary innovations to deliver a completely new transport experience. The pod is similar to an airplane fuselage in a low-pressure environment, the columns similar to those of a pipeline, and the pressure management system similar to those used in industrial operations such as manufacturing semiconductors.
“As a new form of mass transportation, hyperloop opens up a new segment of diversification for us in the transportation space. Our collaboration with Virgin Hyperloop is a prime example of our belief that this burgeoning industry is a game changer,” Keith Hamilton, Spirit Executive Director of Programs and Business Development, said. “Through leveraging our values and core competencies of designing and manufacturing aerostructures, many of the skills are transferable to produce the hyperloop bogie.”
This new transit mode will unlock exponential growth opportunities for cross-industry manufacturing and development jobs — across construction, aerospace, rail, automotive, aviation, electric vehicles, and autonomous control. As Virgin Hyperloop looks to create the first Hyperloop Certification Center in the United States, it will bring thousands of jobs for first movers of the technology and its partners.
“Spirit has proven, time and again, that they are capable of incredible creativity and flexibility as a business, and this is a very exciting example of those attitudes paying off in a big way,” Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “Virgin Hyperloop is looking into the future of commercial travel, and Spirit is the perfect company to help make these goals a reality. Kansas’ tradition of excellence in aviation manufacturing and technological innovation makes it the ideal place for this venture in travel to unfold.”
About Virgin Hyperloop
Virgin Hyperloop is the first company in the world that has successfully tested its hyperloop technology at scale, launching the first new mode of mass transportation in over 100 years. The company successfully operated a full-scale hyperloop vehicle using electric propulsion and electromagnetic levitation under near-vacuum conditions, realizing a fundamentally new form of transportation that is faster, safer, cheaper, and more sustainable than existing modes. The company is now working with governments, partners, and investors around the world to make hyperloop a reality in years, not decades. They currently have projects underway in the US, India, and the Middle East. Learn more about Virgin Hyperloop’s technology, vision, and ongoing projects here.
About Spirit AeroSystems, Inc.
Spirit AeroSystems designs and builds aerostructures for both commercial and defense customers. With headquarters in Wichita, Kansas, Spirit operates sites in the U.S., U.K., France and Malaysia. The company’s core products include fuselages, pylons, nacelles and wing components for the world’s premier aircraft. Spirit AeroSystems focuses on affordable, innovative composite and aluminum manufacturing solutions to support customers around the globe. More information is available at www.SpiritAero.com.
On the web: www.spiritaero.com
On Twitter: @SpiritAero