China building world's fastest hypersonic wind tunnel: Report

WION Web Team
Beijing, China Published: Mar 20, 2018, 12:48 PM(IST)

Hypersonic 'Kinzhal' missile. Photograph:( Others )

Just a month after President Putin declared that Russia is building "invincible" weapons, China's state-run news agency has said the country is building "the world's fastest hypersonic wind tunnel".

The hypersonic wind tunnel is used for super fast airplanes which travel faster than today's planes, while at the same time it also boosts the development of missile technology.

The hypersonic wind tunnel helps to improve aerodynamics as the plane reaches top speed.

"The 265-meter-long tunnel can be used to test hypersonic aircraft that can travel at speeds of up to Mach 25 (30,625 kph), 25 times the speed of sound," Han Guilai, a researcher with China's State Key Laboratory of High Temperature Gas Dynamics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, was quoted by AFP as saying.

The "weapon" or airplane can travel at five times the speed of sound, or more, experts say.

The hunt for hypersonic weapons is primarily being driven by the US but Russia and China have lately joined the race making it another arms race a realistic possibility.

US Air Force had recently said the X-51A Waverider cruise missile, tested in 2012, could travel at speeds faster than Mach 6 (3,600 miles per hour, 5,800 kph).

The Xinhua report said the Chinese Academy of Sciences had already simulated a hypersonic plane flight in its current wind tunnel at speeds "ranging from Mach 5 and 9".     

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