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AVIC reaches milestone with new FL-64 wind tunnel

The FL-64 test facility is the latest in a series of hypersonic wind tunnels being developed and operationalised by China. These facilities include the FL-62 wind tunnel (pictured), which was commissioned in early 2020. (AVIC)

The Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) has announced the development of a new transonic wind tunnel capable of simulating velocities up to Mach 8.

AVIC said in a post to its WeChat social media channel on 21 November that the large-scale FL-64 wind tunnel has recently passed calibration tests, indicating that the facility is “formally capable of conducting tests for [hypersonic] development projects”.

AVIC added that the wind tunnel – developed by its subsidiary, the Aerodynamics Research Institute in Shenyang – was built in two years, which it said is the fastest it has built such a facility.

According to AVIC, the FL-64 test facility, which has a diameter of 1 m, can simulate flight speeds from Mach 4 to Mach 8 at an altitude of 48 km under a total temperature of 90 K (626.8°C).

The FL-64 is one of two high-profile hypersonic wind tunnels under development in China. Janes reported in August that the Institute of Mechanics of the Chinese Academy of Science is also developing the JF-22 wind tunnel.

This facility is expected to be operationalised in 2022. Janes reported that the JF-22 wind tunnel will be capable of simulating conditions for vehicles travelling at speeds of up to Mach 30 at altitudes between 40 km and 100 km.

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