China Is Testing Weapons That Can Reach The US In 14 Minutes

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Originally appeared at Zero Hedge

A secretive hypersonic wind tunnel, nicknamed ‘Hyper Dragon’, is helping the experts ‘reveal many facts that Americans have not found out’, one Chinese researcher said in a propaganda documentary…

South China Morning Post’s Stephen Chen reports that China is building the world’s fastest wind tunnel to simulate hypersonic flight at speeds of up to 12 kilometres per second.

China Is Testing Weapons That Can Reach The US In 14 Minutes

A hypersonic vehicle flying at this speed from China could reach the west coast of the United States in less than 14 minutes.

Zhao Wei, a senior scientist working on the project, said researchers aimed to have the facility up and running by around 2020 to meet the pressing demand of China’s hypersonic weapon development programme.

“It will boost the engineering application of hypersonic technology, mostly in military sectors, by duplicating the environment of extreme hypersonic flights, so problems can be discovered and solved on the ground,” said Zhao, a deputy director of the State Key Laboratory of High Temperature Gas Dynamics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing.

The ground tests will significantly reduce the risk of failure when test flights of hypersonic aircraft start.

The world’s most powerful wind tunnel at present is America’s LENX-X facility in Buffalo, New York state, which operates at speeds of up to 10 kilometres per second – 30 times the speed of sound.

Hypersonic aircraft are defined as vehicles that travel at speeds of Mach 5, five times the speed of sound, or above.

The US military tested HTV-2, a Mach 20 unmanned aircraft in 2011 but the hypersonic flight lasted only a few minutes before the vehicle crashed into the Pacific Ocean.

In March, China conducted seven successful test flights of its hypersonic glider WU-14, also known as the DF-ZF, at speeds of between Mach 5 and Mach 10.

Other countries including Russia, India and Australia have also tested some early prototypes of the aircraft, which could be used to deliver missiles including nuclear weapons.

“China and the US have started a hypersonic race,” said Wu Dafang, professor at the school of aeronautic science and engineering at Beihang University in Beijing who received a national technology award for the invention of a new heat shield used on hypersonic vehicles in 2013.

China Is Testing Weapons That Can Reach The US In 14 Minutes

Wu has worked on the development of hypersonic cruise missiles, a near space vehicle, high-speed drones and other possible weapons for the People’s Liberation Army.

He said there were a number of hypersonic wind tunnels in mainland China which had helped ensure the high success rate of its hypersonic weapon tests.

The new wind tunnel will be “one of the most powerful and advanced ground test facilities for hypersonic vehicles in the world”, said Wu, who was not involved in the project.

“This is definitely good news for us. I look forward to its completion,” he added.

In the new tunnel there will be a test chamber with room for relatively large aircraft models with a wing span of almost three metres.

To generate an airflow at extremely high speeds, the researchers will detonate several tubes containing a mixture of oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen gases to create a series of explosions that can discharge one gigawatt of power within a split second, according to Zhao.

This is more than half of the total power generation capacity of the Daya Bay nuclear power plant in Guangdong.

The shock waves, channelled into the test chamber through a metallic tunnel, will envelope the prototype vehicle and increase the temperature over its body to 8,000 Kelvins, or 7,727 degrees Celsius, Zhao said.

That is nearly 50 per cent hotter than the surface of the Sun.

The hypersonic vehicle therefore must be covered by special materials with extremely efficient cooling systems inside the airframe to dissipate the heat, otherwise it could easily veer off the course or disintegrate during a long-distance flight.

The new tunnel would also be used to test the scramjet, a new type of jet engine designed specifically for hypersonic flights. Traditional jet engines are not capable of handling air flows at such speeds.

China Is Testing Weapons That Can Reach The US In 14 Minutes

Zhao said the construction of the new facility would be led by the same team that built JF12, a hypervelocity denotation-driven shock tunnel in Beijing capable of duplicating flight conditions at speeds ranging from Mach 5 to Mach 9 at altitudes between 20 and 50 kilometres.

Jiang Zonglin, lead developer of the JF12, won the annual Ground Test Award issued by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics last year for advancing “state-of-the-art large-scale hypersonic test facilities”.

Jiang’s JF12 design “uses no moving parts and generates a longer test-duration and a higher energy flow than more traditionally designed tunnels”, according to the American institute.

According to state media reports, the JF12 tunnel has been operating at full capacity with a new test every two days since its completion in 2012 as the pace of hypersonic weapon development increased significantly in recent years.

In an article published in the domestic journal National Science Review last month, Jiang said the impact of hypersonic flights on society could be “revolutionary”.

“With practical hypersonic aeroplanes, a two-hour flight to anywhere in the world will be possible” while the cost of space travel could be cut by 99 per cent with reusable spacecraft technology, Jiang wrote.

“Hypersonic flight is, and in the foreseeable future will be, the driver of national security, and civilian transportation and space access,” he added.

The escape velocity, or the minimum speed needed to leave the Earth, is 11 kilometres per second.

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  • ruca

    Somebody confirm or correct. I assume this 11km/s escape velocity is the most efficient speed to get into orbit. I imagine if you had an infinite source of energy (theoretical) that you could make the ascent in 1s or one year if you wanted. So I assume that 11km/s is the speed that will reduce the size of the launch vehicle. Chime in please.

    • Garga

      Every stable orbit (meaning altitude) is directly linked to a very
      specific velocity, assuming we’re talking about perfectly round orbits
      (circles). You increase the velocity, you can stay in smaller orbits
      (theoretically, assuming there’s no drag from the atmosphere).

      Any celestial body has it’s own escape velocity (the minimum speed required to be free of the body’s gravitational pull). For earth, this velocity is about 11.2 Km/s, at the surface. The more you gain altitude, the lesser becomes this minimum.

      I think this wiki page can answer your question better than me.

      • testera

        Fly safe ;)

        • Garga

          Are you Testera Kerman by chance?

          • testera

            Actually I don’t play KSP at all, but i watch Scott Manley videos regularly.

          • Garga

            His videos are great help for noobs like me. They’re also great help to make one familiar with Scottish accent.
            Come on, start it. It’s one of very few games that actually teaches you something.
            Well, on second thought, if you’re married don’t!

          • testera

            I already have scientific background (although not in rocket science), so educational aspect is not an attractive point for me. Too little free time, too many games worth playing. Currently Cuphead, then probably new expansion for Syrian Warfare, then probably new Spintiers, …

      • Tommy Jensen

        To late. The agents are already sent out. Seeing muppet show is no excuse.

    • testera

      No. Efficient means going as slow as possible (expecially in lower atmosphere). Orbital vehicles don’t want to reach escape velocity at all, becase they want to stay in orbit (orbital speed of International Space Station is 7.67 km/s).
      Making very fast ascent would result in very high acceleration (like firing from a cannon or rail gun does), and that would kill passengers and destroy payload. Most efficient way to get in orbit remains in domain of science fiction. It is space elevator, and I remember reading a great novel about it long time ago (The Fountains of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke).

      • PZIVJ

        So the wind tunnel test is just theoretical work, since any thing as large as a cruise missile would be destroyed by its own rapid acceleration. (using a ramjet) ?

        • testera

          Acceleration is not high enough to be the problem, but temperatures are. Any high velocity object in atmosphere gets really, really hot.

          • PZIVJ

            Yes of course, Thank you.
            It will glow red like a meteorite.:)

          • Joe

            I think China has solved the heat problem with the Rhenium alloy that also enable them to build world class jet engines now

          • testera

            They wouldn’t be building wind tunnel if they don’t have things to test in it.

      • Moussa Saab

        Unfortunately a space elevator is impossible until the next couple of centuries of technological advancement. There is simply no material able to withstand its own weight for 100’s of kilometers.

        • testera

          Yep, that’s why it’s science fiction.

    • Ricky Miller

      11 kps is the minimum speed required to break the hold of Earth’s gravity. Just under half of that velocity puts your payload into orbit.

  • Solomon Krupacek

    so, russia is already out from the high tech.

    • Barba_Papa

      I dunno. As a kid I had access to aviation magazines from the 70’s and 80’s, and a LOT of the technologies and aircraft designs that were predicted never came to pass. I imagine that a lot of what we today predict will happen tech wise will look like shits and giggles and what were they thinking in 20 years time. Don’t count the Russians out yet. They seem very good at low tech solutions to high tech problems.

      And let us also not forget that despite being the workshop of the world, building all sorts of high tech gizmos, the Chinese don’t seem to have much luck coming up with innovative military tech on their own. All their own designs look like copies and derivatives of Soviet and Russian designs.

    • testera

      But you never seem to be out of bullshit to spew here. What the fuck is wrong with you man. You are constantly commenting here and I don’t recall seeing anything that made any sense whatsoever. Nothing else else but complete waste of time and space.
      Even when there is scientifical topic in question like here, you seem to be uncapabale of being borderline coherent. What is your problem? Why don’t you go get professional help?

      • Rex drabble

        He is only ten years old.Dont pick on him.

      • slayern2

        Solomon is just a troll without life, brain, or purpose (other than trolling this site)

  • Real Anti-Racist Action

    Great, the Atheist who genocided over 40,000,000 of their own people, will now be able to wipe out many more. The Chinese are not know as humanist. They boil dogs a alive and then skin them alive. They is the height of morality. They are more machine then anything else. Driving by profits, expansion and other emotionalist greed

    • testera

      Just when I finished writing about Solomon being the worst, another patient appears.
      If you think that religion have anything to do with morality you should go back to morally sucking a priest, or burning witches, or beheading infidels, or whatever attrocities your spiritual leaders tell you to do to in the name of the Lord. Leave science to scientist.

    • Admiral_Moorer_believed

      How many wars has china started around the world since the end of WW2?

      Or is it that the US is the greatest danger to independent countries around the world. . .

      • Tommy Jensen

        There are 1,4 billion chinese, so to attack other countries they have to kill millions of their own to even get out of the country.

      • slayern2

        China started less wars in 2500 years of their history than the US in the last 25 years….

    • Joe

      Sick people talk like that.
      An ostrich with it’s head in shit and only see shit.

      Policy of China is to create world trade on win win basis as declared and this nut talk about eating dogs.

      Test be assured Chinese are far more cultured than your kind

    • Nexusfast123

      Not like the innocent West that bombs nations to chaos, funds and arms head choppers, kills tens of thousands, ‘drones’ wedding and funeral parties as they might be terrorist gatherings, etc. There us no moral high ground in all this as the US and its vassals have probably killed around 30m since the end of WW2.

    • Melotte 22

      ‘The Chinese are not know as humanist. They boil dogs a alive and then skin them alive. ‘
      I believe that is what invaders did to native Americans.

    • George Silversurfer

      They gonna change the menu by serving 40 million of you people.

    • Veg

      Eating dog is same as eating PORK or sheep for you. In both cases you are killing an animal. So in no way you could claim that you are more humanist while they kill dogs while you kill the Pork.
      And have you seen how your older generation killed the pork by slitting it’s throat in order to get the BLOOD, from which you still make Blood Sausages in many western countries?
      Despite being Atheists, Chinese are civilized and their family system is much more stronger than the religious western countries.

    • just_justMe

      You don’t deserve to use “Real Anti-Racist Action” as your user name.

  • Serious

    Build genetic weapons and their antidote. If USA tries to attack, send these genetic weapons into USA. They will extinguish all people around USA.

    • Ronald

      All this money wasted on destruction , rather than construction .
      That is what is bringing America and Saudi Arabia to their knees , not other people , but their own misdirection . Up until now China avoided that error , I do hope they don’t follow the US in a path to self destruction .

      • Joe

        China builds to enhance technology to counter balance the huge US unlimited money printing budget for self defense. She has no choice
        Know how US feels to see a growing China

        She is doing fine and are at this moment creating new innovation at astronomical speed in aost every area of technology while US still building expensive outdated carriers concept

        • Tommy Jensen

          .Fourteen minutes is a lot of time for US superior technology. We can easily intercept and shot down this chinese plastic missile…….LOL.

          • Joe

            Hahaha I love to read ignorance .

            You do not even have time to pin point and identify .

            For your ignorance , to hit a hypersonic no one on Earth has the technology to hit it

            That is why , those missiles defence are useless against Russian and Chinese hypersonic

  • Serious

    If you have intercontinental weapons, the way to go are nuclear, chemical and genetic wepaons. The rest is more or less useless.