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Chinese hypersonic wind tunnel passes acceptance check

The JF-22 hypersonic wind tunnel could potentially benefit the further development of China's WZ-8 unmanned aerial vehicle. Western intelligence classifies the WZ-8 as a supersonic aircraft. However, Chinese media claims that the WZ-8 is a hypersonic vehicle. (Long Wei/VCG via Getty Images)

A new hypervelocity wind tunnel in China has passed its acceptance check.

Known as the JF-22 hypervelocity wind tunnel, the new facility is expected to contribute to China's “development of aerospace transport systems and hypersonic aircraft”, according to Chinese state-owned media. The wind tunnel is located at the Institute of Mechanics of the Chinese Academy of Science, Huairou, north of Beijing. The National Natural Science Foundation of China said in a press release that the acceptance was granted on 3 June.

The state-owned broadcaster, China Central Television (CCTV), reported in 2021 that the wind tunnel will support the testing of several future air and space projects such as China's reusable space shuttle and its Mach 0–12 hypersonic vehicle. According to CCTV, the space shuttle is intended to have a maximum speed of Mach 25.

The state-owned newspaper, Global Times , said the facility has a length of 167 m, a nozzle exit of 2.5 m, and a test cabin diameter of 4 m. According to the Global Times , a press release by the National Natural Science Foundation of China said that the tunnel is capable of “testing airflows of three to 10 kilometres a second, or as high as Mach 30”.

Janes has previously reported that the wind tunnel will simulate conditions for vehicles being designed to fly at altitudes between 40 km and 100 km.

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