Chinese scientists finish development of hypervelocity wind tunnel

2023-06-06 08:35:33Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China's world-leading hypervelocity wind tunnel, which is expected to significantly contribute to the country's development of aerospace transport systems and hypersonic aircraft, recently passed an acceptance check, marking the success of the project.

The National Natural Science Foundation of China organized an acceptance check meeting about the JF-22 hypervelocity wind tunnel at the Institute of Mechanics of the Chinese Academy of Science in Beijing, the institute said in a press release on Saturday.

A delegation of 16 experts from various institutes and organizations unanimously approved the acceptance check, noting that the project team finished the development and reached its research goals on time and completely, with the wind tunnel reaching world-leading levels in terms of comprehensive performance parameters including effective experiment time, total temperature, total pressure and the size of the nozzle flow field, according to the press release.

Sponsored by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and undertaken by the Institute of Mechanics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the JF-22 hypervelocity wind tunnel is a major national scientific research instrument development project.

The project was launched in 2018, and in five years it led to the construction of a super-large experiment instrument with a length of 167 meters, a nozzle exit of 2.5 meters and a test cabin diameter of four meters.

Capable of testing airflows of three to 10 kilometers a second, or as high as Mach 30, the wind tunnel can powerfully support the development of China's aerospace transport systems and hypersonic aircraft, the press release said.

The combination of the JF-22 hypervelocity wind tunnel and the previously developed JF-12 reproduction wind tunnel has become the only ground experimental platform that can cover all flight ranges for near-space aircraft, the institute said in the press release.

Project leader Jiang Zonglin said on China Central Television in August 2021 that aerospace aircraft reduce the launch cost of satellites and spacecraft by 90 percent, while hypersonic aircraft will be able to fly at Mach 5 to 10 and arrive at any location in the world within one or two hours.

Chinese aerospace expert Fu Qianshao told the Global Times that hypersonic aircraft could see civilian uses like transport in addition to military applications like reconnaissance and attack when related technologies become mature.

The development of aerospace aircraft is a long-term goal because it also requires breakthroughs on powerful engines, but eventually the investments would be worthwhile, Fu said.


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