Chinese hypersonic projects & research


Temstar

Junior Member
Registered Member
I do not know it seems like excessive complication to me.

That is going to be one heavy engine. It also does not solve the main problem with any of these high speed vehicles which is airframe heating for prolonged times while traveling at high speeds. In the 1970s there were all sorts of programs in the US for fighter aircraft and bombers like the SR-71 derived YF-12, the XF-108 Rapier, or even the XB-70 Valkyrie. Those all flew at airspeeds slightly over Mach 3 and even then some of them had issues. Namely the Valkyrie which used a metal honeycomb matrix which they never got to work. The US retried this in the Reagan era with the X-30 NASP "Orient Express" which also used honeycomb matrix metal and it didn't work then either. The metal matrix and carbon composite hydrogen tanks never worked properly. They tried composite hydrogen tanks, again, in the X-33 and it also failed.

Space launch vehicles or intercontinental missiles don't have these friction heating issues nearly as much because they quickly leave the atmosphere. The reentry vehicles, if any, are typically rather small and have to withstand the friction for a short amount of time.

I think it would be much easier to develop an YF-12/XF-108 Rapier analog or if you really want a cryogenic higher speed aircraft I think you are better off with liquid methane than liquid hydrogen. The technology for lightweight structures with liquid hydrogen is probably not quite there yet. Steel is arguably the best structure for storing liquid hydrogen even today. Maybe Al-Li is better. Honeycomb structures have been a disaster. Perhaps with modern additive manufacturing techniques it can be made to work, don't know, but it would be hard. Liquid hydrogen besides being close to absolute zero the molecules are so thin they permeate through composites and matrix materials easily.
Given that China has things like DF-17 and WZ-8 in active service, is there any reason to doubt that China's heat resistant material tech is anything but world leading?
 

latenlazy

Colonel
Given that China has things like DF-17 and WZ-8 in active service, is there any reason to doubt that China's heat resistant material tech is anything but world leading?
Heat resistance for a missile to stay intact and heat resistance to prevent the roasting a human passenger are two very different things.
 

gelgoog

Senior Member
Registered Member
Given that China has things like DF-17 and WZ-8 in active service, is there any reason to doubt that China's heat resistant material tech is anything but world leading?

It wouldn't be surprised if it was. But the problem is AFAIK no one in the world has the right materials for prolonged flight at high Mach speeds inside the atmosphere. Even the Avangard, I think, only skips around the atmosphere and it isn't reusable.
 

by78

Brigadier
This is related and relevant. Excerpts from a study on a multi-layered early warning system against (trans-Pacific) hypersonic vehicles. My technical Chinese is limited, so someone please help with a translation. From what I understand, a multitude of satellites in different orbits will work in concert with ground stations and low-altitude detectors to provide early warning using a variety of radar and electro-optical detection systems.


 
Last edited:

latenlazy

Colonel
This is related and relevant. Excerpts from a study on a multi-layered early warning system against (trans-Pacific) hypersonic vehicles. My technical Chinese is limited, so someone please help with a translation. From what I understand, a multitude of satellites in different orbits will work in concert with ground stations and low-altitude detectors to provide early warning using a variety of radar and electro-optical detection systems.


Shouldn’t this be a post for radars and not hypersonic?
 

by78

Brigadier
Shouldn’t this be a post for radars and not hypersonic?

I thought about this as well, but it's not exactly radar either. There are so many components involved with this multi-layered system, including infrared detection, that I thought radar thread might not be appropriate. Since this is an exclusively anti-hypersonic system, I thought maybe this thread is the place to put it, even if the fit is not ideal. :confused:

Maybe mods could move this where they see fit.
 

Bltizo

Lieutenant General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Registered Member
I thought about this as well, but it's not exactly radar either. There are so many components involved with this multi-layered system, including infrared detection, that I thought radar thread might not be appropriate. Since this is an exclusively anti-hypersonic system, I thought maybe this thread is the place to put it, even if the fit is not ideal. :confused:

Maybe mods could move this where they see fit.

I think it's fine here, as a system I think hypersonic defense systems are more relevant in a hypersonic thread for now (and likely for the next few years) rather than the generic radar thread.
 

Tam

Colonel
Registered Member
This is related and relevant. Excerpts from a study on a multi-layered early warning system against (trans-Pacific) hypersonic vehicles. My technical Chinese is limited, so someone please help with a translation. From what I understand, a multitude of satellites in different orbits will work in concert with ground stations and low-altitude detectors to provide early warning using a variety of radar and electro-optical detection systems.





Use Google Translate using the camera.

Screenshot_2021-01-08-14-29-05-55_7a5391456ddf15713cd09dfbd75e8325.png
 

by78

Brigadier
An illustration taken from a study on a conceptual hypersonic aircraft. The illustration shows the lift requirement for the various flight altitudes. The conceptual aircraft is in the 30-ton class and capable of Mach 6 and cruising/flying at an altitude well above 20km.

 

Top