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Chinese researchers simulate hypersonic bombing in wind tunnel

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Chinese researchers simulate hypersonic bombing in wind tunnel​

  • New device uses robotic arms to test an aircraft’s ability to unload cargo, such as a weapon or spacecraft, at extremely fast speeds
  • Hypersonic planes require extensive wind tunnel testing to minimise risk of collision


Hypersonic flight creates air flow patterns that can increase the risk of a plane and its cargo colliding. Photo: Lin Jinzhou

Hypersonic flight creates air flow patterns that can increase the risk of a plane and its cargo colliding. Photo:

Lin Jinzhou

Researchers in southwest China say they have developed the world’s most advanced system for testing an aircraft’s ability to unload a weapon or small spacecraft at extremely fast speeds, allowing them to test a prototype hypersonic bomber.
Since the 1960s, military scientists have used a device known as a captive trajectory system (CTS) during wind tunnel tests to study the cargo offloading ability of bombers and other military aircraft. The systems typically use a small crane to move the bomb or missile away from an aircraft to replicate the parting of two objects against strong currents in a wind tunnel.
A team led by Lin Jinzhou of the China Aerodynamics Research and Development Centre in Sichuan province said they have built a hypersonic CTS that uses two robotic arms to hold and tilt a prototype aircraft and its cargo, allowing them to pitch, rotate and roll in nearly all directions.
 

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