You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

US Air Force sets a new maglev speed record

Engadget Engadget 20/04/2016 Nick Summers

The US Air Force has smashed the world speed record for a vehicle aided by magnetic levitation, or "mag lev." The 846th Test Squadron at the Holloman Air Force Base broke the milestone twice -- first hitting 513MPH, then topping 633MPH a few days later. The team's sled is levitated with super-conducting magnets cooled with liquid helium. Rockets then power the contraption along a 2,100 foot-long track, with an acceleration close to 928 feet per second. Although maglev transportation isn't unique -- trains have used it to top 370MPH -- this particular setup is one of a kind.

"What we plan to do after this test is refine the design of the sled itself," Shawn Morgenstern, commander of the 846th Test Squadron said. "We want to look at some lighter materials and continue to see what kind of capability we can get out of this system in terms of the speeds that we're capable of going." Check out the video below to see the sled in action.

Holloman Air Force Base, YouTube

More from Engadget

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon