China Successfully Tests First Hypersonic Aircraft (Download PDF)


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China successfully tested its 1st cutting-edge hypersonic “waverider” flight vehicle (aircraft) Xingkong-2 (Starry Sky-2). Waverider is flight vehicle that flies in atmosphere & uses shockwaves generated by its own hypersonic flight w/air to glide at high speed.

Image of hypersonic supersonic subsonic

Image of Hypersonic Supersonic Subsonic

Image of hypersonic supersonic subsonic

  • United States & Russia are carrying out similar experiments.

About Test

  • Xingkong-2 hypersonic waverider flight vehicle was released in air from rocket after about 10 minutes.

  • It flew independently, made large-angle turning maneuvers & landed in targeted area as planned.

  • During test, it had reached 30 kms in altitude at Mach 5.5 - 6 speed.

  • Test proved various parameters of flight vehicle, thus marking successful launch of Xingkong-2 & 1st flight of Chinese waverider.

Image of China tests waverider hypersonic aircraft

Image of China Tests Waverider Hypersonic Aircraft

Image of China tests waverider hypersonic aircraft

Xingkong-2 (Starry Sky-2)

  • Hypersonic waverider flight vehicle was designed by state-run China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics (CAAA) in collaboration w/China Aerospace Science & Technology Corporation.

  • It can carry both conventional & nuclear warheads.

  • It has capability to penetrate any current generation anti-missile defence systems due to its high speed & unpredictable trajectory.

  • Current generation of anti-missile defence systems is mainly designed to intercept cruise & ballistic missiles which are either slower or easier to predict, making them possible to intercept.

  • Hypersonic waverider flight vehicle may see civil use in future.

  • China is advancing shoulder-to-shoulder w/US & Russia in developing hypersonic waverider flight vehicle.

  • China is expected to test this wave rider more frequently in future before being handed over for final deployment to People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

China Aerospace Science & Technology Corporation

  • Founded in – 1999

  • Headquarter – Beijing, China

- Published/Last Modified on: November 30, 2018

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