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Did China fly a Hypersonic Recon Aircraft?

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posted on Sep, 22 2015 @ 02:06 PM
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a reply to: Barnalby

I am by no means an engineer or aerodynamicist and I'm not saying it's impossible but a rearward ejection of ordinance might play hell on the slip stream aerodynamics around the aircraft at hypersonic speeds. That area could suddenly incur large amounts of drag from the release of the weapons and make the craft much harder to control.
I can also image that a naval style ejection type system for ordinance would put the weapon at risk of getting wedged in the tube as the leading edge suddenly encountered the air stream. Doing so would almost certainly spell doom for the aircraft in more ways than one.
Beyond that, I can also see an issue with the sudden weight and center of gravity change of the aircraft as the weapons were released. The SR-71 had a lot of issues with keeping the center of gravity in check during flight as it burned through it's fuel load and was an important thing for the pilots to monitor during flight to prevent the aircraft from being too unstable.




posted on Sep, 22 2015 @ 02:07 PM
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a reply to: JIMC5499

I've always had a major soft spot for it, ever since I first saw a model of one in the model gallery on the USS Massachusetts as a kid.

Whether you choose to look at it as a somewhat-neutered F-108, or as the closest we ever got to seeing an operational CF-105 or TSR-2, it was always a pretty spectacular aircraft to me.

I wonder if they ever would have fixed its ordinance deployment issues, as it seems like a ribbon chute or retro rockets would be an easy fix for the low-pressure issue. I can imagine an alternate world where Polaris had teething problems and the USN spent the majority of the 60's using the A-3, A-5, and the regulus boats as a patchwork deterrent system while they worked out the kinks from the SLBM system.



posted on Sep, 22 2015 @ 02:08 PM
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a reply to: JIMC5499

I think Will Smith's plane in "Independence Day" was an F-18. They kind of made a big show of those planes in that movie as I recall.



posted on Sep, 22 2015 @ 02:10 PM
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a reply to: MystikMushroom

I don't think the X-15 did much in terms of maneuvers at those speeds. It want up and then came back down.



posted on Sep, 22 2015 @ 02:12 PM
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a reply to: MystikMushroom

Yes, it was and yes they did. Wonder if Boeing had anything to do with that?



posted on Sep, 22 2015 @ 02:44 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Maybe not lasers or particle beams.



posted on Sep, 22 2015 @ 03:09 PM
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a reply to: cavtrooper7

The current "small" lasers that could affect ground based targets require a C-130 sized aircraft to carry them. Add to that the altitude that a manned ISR platform would fly at, and you add a range issue as well as a time issue due to the speed.



posted on Sep, 22 2015 @ 03:17 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

You can stuff a HELLADS module or two in General Atomic's Avenger UCAV. They are expecting to fly by 2018 with it.



posted on Sep, 22 2015 @ 03:34 PM
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a reply to: anzha

Hellads is also fairly short range. If you're talking an aircraft flying near 100,000 feet you're going to get into targeting and range issues. But it's still not ready for a small platform.



posted on Sep, 22 2015 @ 03:40 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Range is a function of power. A two module HELLADS is 150kw. That's sufficient, so long as you are above 30k feet to do serious damage at long, long ranges. Missile shooting ranges. At below 30k feet, yeah, its pretty short range.



posted on Sep, 22 2015 @ 03:48 PM
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a reply to: anzha

And at excess of 100,000 feet, even 150 kw isn't going to give you a great range. And at the speeds being talked about here you have almost no time on target for the laser to hit or even to target.



posted on Sep, 22 2015 @ 04:13 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Going to politely disagree. Simple case. The target flies right over you.

Mach 5 is 1 mile/s.

If the target is flying at 100k ft and will fly above the horizon 387.9 miles away (ideal condition). It will take the target over 12 minutes to fly over you and away. Military grade lasers (those above 100kw) will take out a normal target in 10 seconds or less. A hypersonic plane will be relatively hardened. However, the increased thermal flux of a laser will take longer, but will end up being MORE catastrophic when a burn through is done. For argument's sake, the hypersonic aircraft can be taken out in 20 seconds.

I have to tread carefully for this next part.

If you are on the ground, a 150kw HELLADS will NOT reach out to 387.9 miles. Direct overflights, even at 100k ft and probably within 50 miles is going be off the table. An aircraft mounted HELLADS will probably have at least double if not triple the range.

An cap of four HEL Avengers will cost less than a hypersonic aircraft and effectively negate its usefulness.

A ground HELLADS will almost assuredly be more powerful. They publicly state you can put together 4 modules (300 kw). With some work, I bet you could get a MW class laser.



posted on Sep, 22 2015 @ 10:56 PM
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a reply to: anzha
I don't see a hypersonic UAV carrying a HELLADS at it's current module weight.
I mean you are dealing with 150kw which is probably weighing in at maybe 16,000 lbs?
So currently and theoretically, any hypersonic platform configured to "strike" is probably 1. stealthy, 2. able to cycle back to lower speeds in order to deliver "kinetic" strike packages, and 3. using directed energy for suppressing enemy air defense (and all the menagerie of possibilities that en-tales)



posted on Sep, 23 2015 @ 12:18 PM
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originally posted by: Sammamishman
a reply to: MystikMushroom

Yes, it was and yes they did. Wonder if Boeing had anything to do with that?


Product placement. Boeing was trying to get contracts for the Super Hornet at the time this movie was made.



posted on Sep, 23 2015 @ 12:41 PM
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a reply to: coldstar

If it recieved an asist vector from satelites and drones maybe it could hit at speed.



posted on Sep, 23 2015 @ 08:46 PM
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originally posted by: cavtrooper7
a reply to: coldstar

If it recieved an asist vector from satelites and drones maybe it could hit at speed.


Accuracy would not be the issue. The method of ordinance release at hypersonic speeds is the problem. Which is what I implied by stating the vehicle would have to cycle down (provided it uses a combined-cycle engine) to slower speeds in order to release payload. Opening any doors or rear facing torpedo-like tubes on a craft travelling in the hypersonic regime exposes the interior of the vehicle to superheated gasses - Think Columbia Space Shuttle style disaster.



posted on Sep, 23 2015 @ 09:28 PM
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a reply to: coldstar

And opening the door to a missile compartment at supersonic speeds exposes the door and all of the interior spaces to drag and pressure gradients that would rip a conventional subsonic aircraft apart. The engineers just build the compartments to match the stresses they'll be put under.

I'd imagine that aerodynamic interactions would still be more of a dealbreaker to hypersonic ordinance release than superheated gasses temporarily filling a heatproofed weapons space.

So here's an idea: Use rear-facing tubes (heat-tolerant, of course) to fire rocket-propelled projectiles out rearward and down towards the target as the system passes over it. This would be especially feasible if the ordinance was a hypersonic hypermaneuverable, designed like a rocket-propelled MARV or the pye wacket system.

Hell, at those speeds, even an atmosphere-launched "rod from god" could do some serious damage...



posted on Sep, 23 2015 @ 09:58 PM
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Or a flush mounted rotating lens?



posted on Sep, 23 2015 @ 10:48 PM
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a reply to: Barnalby


originally posted by: Barnalby
a reply to: coldstar

And opening the door to a missile compartment at supersonic speeds exposes the door and all of the interior spaces to drag and pressure gradients that would rip a conventional subsonic aircraft apart. The engineers just...

See, one of the problems with a forum like this is that its easy to say "The engineers just..." but there are thousands of man hours required to provide solutions to complicated problems. Research and discovery, theories and trial and error - these are all very costly and time consuming.
But yes, you are right; aerodynamics is a very strong issue. Because of the instability any opened bay, hatch, hole or orifiace would cause to the vehicle. We're aren't talking business jets or even fighter jets here. We're talking about 3,000 to 6,000 mph and the disastrous implications even a small dent from a hailstone could cause.



So here's an idea: Use rear-facing tubes (heat-tolerant, of course) to fire rocket-propelled projectiles out rearward and down towards the target as the system passes over it.


I spoke of "topedo-like" tubes in the last post. I'm not saying its impossible to launch ordinance from a hypersonic vehicle, just that its hard and expensive to accomplish. but to answer your theory on shooting a rocket out the back, you would do better slipping it out with the forward facing tip going into the 6,000 mph air flow rather than shooting a rocket out with the burn end facing the same air flow.


Hell, at those speeds, even an atmosphere-launched "rod from god" could do some serious damage...

...and the "Rods from God" concept is a space launched solution, and does not have to contend with aerodynamics or plasma when it is launched.



posted on Sep, 23 2015 @ 11:23 PM
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a reply to: Sammamishman

The a-5 vigilante was designed to eject a nuclear bomb rearward at high speed and altitude and was very fast and agile for its day. I'd say rearward launch of munitions wouldn't be too much of a problem as long as it's a fast event the airflow shouldn't be too bad, maybe the worse affect would be the sudden shift in weight forward. But the a-5 was nuclear certified to do it and was an amazing airplane. It's huge and beautiful in person.
edit on 23-9-2015 by Caughtlurking because: (no reason given)




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