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China’s new wind tunnel for hypersonic testing is too powerful for the electricity grid: scientists

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China’s new wind tunnel for hypersonic testing is too powerful for the electricity grid: scientists​

  • The new facility, whose name and location remain secret, can simulate extreme flight conditions at Mach 5 or faster at high altitude
  • Many diesel ship engines are used to power aspects of the new facility, according to researchers involved, but their complexity creates other challenges
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  • The JF12 hypersonic wind tunnel in Beijing. Photo: CCTV
    A wind tunnel built recently by China to test hypersonic flight requires so much power it cannot be connected to the local electricity grid, according to scientists involved in the project.
    To simulate extreme flight conditions at Mach 5 or faster at high altitude, the wind tunnel runs a 13-megawatt vacuum pump to create an extreme environment from thin air.
    But the power needed for the pump to operate continuously was greater than “the upper limit allowed by the local electric power distribution network”, said research engineer Li Yanliang, of the Beijing Institute of Space Long March Vehicle, in a paper published in the domestic peer-reviewed Measurement & Control Technology journal last week.


 

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