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China unveils cutting-edge JF-22 Hypersonic Wind Tunnel facility
A photo shows a segment of the JF-22 hypersonic wind tunnel.
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China unveils cutting-edge JF-22 Hypersonic Wind Tunnel facility
by Simon Mansfield
Sydney, Australia (SPX) Jul 19, 2023

China Media Group's recent video coverage has brought into the limelight the revolutionary JF-22 hypersonic wind tunnel. This technologically advanced wind tunnel has successfully passed stringent quality tests and is currently regarded as the world's premier facility of its kind.

The primary function of the JF-22 is to facilitate a plethora of simulated flight experiments, pivotal during the development of various aircraft models. Wind tunnels are essential in generating high-speed airflow, which accurately simulates real-life flight environments. This permits researchers to examine the various forces impacting crafts traveling at high velocities, hence obviating the need for repeated engineering tests and consequently saving valuable time.

As per the China Media Group's report, the JF-22 hypersonic wind tunnel boasts impressive specifications, stretching a total length of 167 meters. It can replicate flight conditions at altitudes ranging from 40 to 90 kilometers, attaining peak speeds of approximately 10 kilometers per second, roughly equivalent to 30 times the speed of sound.

Jiang Zonglin, a seasoned researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Mechanics and the project leader of the hypervelocity shockwave wind tunnel based in Beijing's Huairou district, extolled the unparalleled performance of the JF-22 wind tunnel. According to Jiang, the JF-22 boasts a sizable flow field, functions for durations significantly longer than its counterparts, and exhibits an enhanced precision when conducting experiments. The wind tunnel's capability to generate higher total pressures and temperatures was also highlighted.

Song Zhongping, a military commentator who shared his insights with Beijing Youth Daily, emphasized that the successful development of the JF-22 hypersonic wind tunnel provides a robust platform for China. It paves the way for unprecedented possibilities in technological exploration and equipment testing, contributing to the development of a new generation of high-speed aircraft.

The China Media Group report underscored the primary motivation behind developing the JF-22 hypersonic wind tunnel: to address experimental research issues related to hypersonic flight technology.

The recent quality assurance success means that the research team can now shift its focus. Utilizing the JF-22 wind tunnel, the team intends to concentrate on exploring gliding aircraft, space-to-Earth flight vehicles, and multistage launch vehicles, thereby bolstering China's progression in hypersonic technology.

Song reiterated the technical challenges posed by round trips from Earth to space and deemed the hypersonic wind tunnel an irreplaceable experimental environment for studying this complex process. He further remarked on the significance of space-to-Earth flight. "Space-to-Earth flight not only provides more applications in aviation and aerospace but also greatly reduces launch costs," Song stated, thereby elucidating the far-reaching implications of this advanced wind tunnel technology.

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