Rafael Contreras

TECHNOLOGY for daily life. Blog about a successful business history.

Hyperloop, a new challenge, one milestone more.

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RAFAEL CONTRERAR PUERTA CAPSULANot even a week ago,  I was running the countdown that gave way to a new challenge. A milestone more achieved in this path of constant innovation that I undertook together with colleagues, there present, more than 15 years ago. When the 40-meter-wide curtain came down, the first life-size Hyperloop capsule in the world was discovered in our facility at El Puerto de Santa Maria (Cadiz-Spain). Completely made by AIRTIFICIAL, and with Spanish talent, Andalusian. When I addressed some words to the guests, I could not avoid, nor did I wanted, the emotion to accompany me on stage. I only understand work with passion, with commitment, with dedication. And in addition to the objective fact of inaugurating what has become a revolution in the world of transport, there were people there with whom I have sweated, and I have shared the worst moments, and also the best, as I spoke about there.

Here I leave the words I said not even seven days ago. Here I leave you part of my thoughts and my emotions at such an important moment. Here I leave my involvement with all those who have made possible, and continue to do so, that so far with CARBURES, and henceforth with AIRTIFICIAL, we continue to meet goals. Hyperloop, a new challenge, a milestone.

El Puerto de Santa María, October 2nd, 2018

President, authorities, CEO and Chairman of Hyperloop, customers, employees, friends. On days as important as these it is good to have an awareness of what is being celebrated. What represents what is behind this curtain. As it has already been said, it is a historical day. We are all making history by being here, as we are about to witness the birth of a new form of transportation. A structure and a system that reduces distances and brings people closer. That’s Hyperloop for me.

“We did it because we did not know it was impossible”

A professor at the University of Cádiz, mentor and founder of Carbures, today AIRTIFICIAL, when we started to succeed and get the first important Airbus programs, he said a phrase that I will never forget “We did it because we did not know it was impossible” .

Today, together with the professionals of Hyperloop, we do it again. We mark the way again, and with all our knowledge acquired in engineering and manufacturing of sensorized composite structures, we put it at the service of a train that travels at 1200 km/h. Something never done before.

A structure with 85% carbon fiber, with double skin of composite material for greater safety, and remote monitoring of any incidence through the dozens of sensors distributed throughout the structure.


I would like to thank Manuel Galán, that atypical professor, for teaching me to do things that I do not know are impossible. To Dirk, Andrés and Bibop from Hyperloop for the trust placed on AIRTIFICIAL, to materialize their project and make it a tangible reality. Javier Moreno, at the head of his team, Charo López and Manuel Gutiérrez, and all the workers and staff who haven´t had vacations this summer, so that today we can be here and have the opportunity to admire  the first actual size Hyperloop capsule in a few minutes. To the President of the Government of Andalucia for giving us the honor of sponsoring this act. And of course, to my inseparable partner and traveling companion, Iván Contreras. Co-founder of Carbures, and witness of the growth from the first stone.

This is breaking molds and clichés. Manufactured, assembled and sensorized among Jerez de la Frontera, El Puerto de Santa María and Sevilla. AIRTIFICIAL is involved in the development of Hyperloop in a double sense. From the division of Aerospace & Defense with the engineering and construction of the capsule. And from Civil Works with the development of the tube in composites where the capsule will travel. I want to mention Leonardo Sánchez-Heredero and Inypsa, now AIRTIFICIAL, as part of this knowledge ecosystem called Hyperloop.

Making history

If you ask me how the process has been so far, I will say that the road has been full of challenges and difficulties. If you ask me if I would repeat knowing what I know now, I would say yes without hesitation for a second. If you ask me what attracts me most, as Chairman and cofounder of AIRTIFICIAL, to be part of a project like Hyperloop, I will say the possibility of transforming the history of humanity. It comes to mind moments that accelerated the course of history: that first foot on the moon, that first flight of the Wright brothers, the first transcontinental railroad in the United States between Omaha and Sacramento.

It takes a lot of motivation to get to the end in trips like the one that brings us together today. If you ask me what are the necessary ingredients, I will say that passion and love for knowledge. And since both are contagious, I’ll repeat them: passion, and love for knowledge. AIRTIFICIAL and those who form it are full of both elements, and it is a pleasure to put them at the service of this train that is not an airplane, of this structure that is not a train. We can imagine that the first witnesses of his travels will say as Loise Lane, “Is it an airplane? Is it a train? No, it’s Hyperloop! “

Here is a milestone on the road of this supersonic capsule. Now it will continue on its way to Toulousse, the HTT test center, where it will be equipped with systems and the rest of the technologies.

It only remains for me to share my pride and joy for this moment, and continue working to continue celebrating milestones like today.

Thank you very much everyone, and see you at the Hyperloop stations.

Author: Rafael Contreras

VP of Cadiz CF. PhD in Social and Law Sciences by the University of Cádiz and a Master's Degree in Psycho-social counseling of organizations and institutions by the Universita'Di Bologna (Italy). Leadership and management Executive by MIT. More than 20 years of experience in launching and setting-up companies, specialized in high-technology. I am used to think that "When you believe in what you're doing and use your imagination and initiative, yo can make a difference"

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