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Video Appears To Show China Testing Hypersonic Glide Vehicles Via High Altitude Balloon

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posted on Sep, 25 2018 @ 08:32 AM
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Video Appears To Show China Testing Hypersonic Glide Vehicles Via High Altitude Balloon



Not sure if this was posted already. I don't remember seeing it. But it would seem that China is doing some more testing.

The video in the article is of a purported test that closed off airspace in NW China recently. The video shows 3 slightly different test shapes hooked to a HAB in a carrier.



We can't confirm with absolute certainty if this is in fact the case, but those wedge-shaped payloads look nearly identical to hypersonic vehicle shapes we have seen China working on in the past. In addition, using a high-altitude balloon as a platform to launch glide tests of different hypersonc boost glide vehicle configurations seems like an incredibly logical and efficient process for gathering important real-world testing data.




posted on Sep, 25 2018 @ 12:45 PM
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Commented on, but it is worthy of its own thread:

www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Sep, 25 2018 @ 03:17 PM
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a reply to: anzha

Than you anzha.

That third shape there looks like it's a hangliding misile. lol



posted on Sep, 25 2018 @ 03:19 PM
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a reply to: grey580

My bet is they are experimenting with high altitude aerodynamics. Hence, the glider.



posted on Sep, 25 2018 @ 05:55 PM
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originally posted by: anzha
a reply to: grey580

My bet is they are experimenting with high altitude aerodynamics. Hence, the glider.


Yes, high altitude, high speed, and high angle of attack. Balloons of this kind can get to 120,000 feet or so before they drop the gliders. Considering those two green colored vehicles on the left, I would guesstimate that their ballistic coefficients are high enough that they could probably get up to Mach 3 or so in a vertical drop and still be at 70,000 feet or above. I did a couple of high altitude drop tests like these almost 20 years ago, for NASA, but in our case, the models were subsonic vehicles, not supersonic. At these altitudes, there is so little air that it is almost like falling in a vacuum for the first 50,000 feet or so.

Those two green gliders are obviously the same basic hypersonic/supersonic lifting body, with the main difference being twin vertical tails versus one vertical tail. The main difference between those two design choices (at the speeds they are likely to achieve) is that moving the tails outboard to near the wingtips allows them to be smaller (and therefore lighter). At high angles of attack, the forebody would shield the airflow from the centrally mounted, single tail, so the tail has to be taller and heavier. This was one of the problems with the Space Shuttle, which also had a large single vertical tail. That means they intend to fly these models at high angles of attack, and therefore high lift coefficients, while still maintaining full 3-axis control. I infer that these vehicles are intended to be highly maneuverable, in the terminal phase.

In order to test the terminal phase maneuverability, you basically perform a pull up maneuver as soon as you reach your desired flight speed and turn your vertical speed into horizontal speed. You then have a relatively long glide out range during which you can demonstrate evasive maneuvers, ultimate accuracy, and stuff like that. In order to avoid running into the ground at Mach 3, I estimate that these gliders will have to pull 10 g or more during the pull up.



posted on Sep, 25 2018 @ 06:11 PM
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Wind tunnels not an option?



posted on Sep, 25 2018 @ 09:05 PM
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originally posted by: Blackfinger
Wind tunnels not an option?


Sure, you always do wind tunnel tests to determine all the basic aerodynamic coefficients that you can. However, it is difficult, if not impossible, to find a tunnel that can accept a full scale model at the correct Mach number, Reynolds number and full range of angle of attack. You generally end up with very small scale models. You can shoot them down ballistic ranges and put them on balances in blow-down supersonic tunnels and determine basic lift, drag, and moment coefficients of the basic shape.

Projects that I've worked on did that and I would be surprised if the Chinese didn't already do that too. However, as you move closer to full system test, at some point you have to take the basic aerodynamic characteristics of the airframe and couple them with the autopilot in a closed loop test. To do that, the vehicle has to actually fly around in the full dynamic range of speed and atmospheric density that it will experience when in operation. Really, the only way to do that is free flight in the atmosphere. The two good options for getting the vehicle into those conditions are sounding rockets and high altitude balloons. Even though balloon launches of this size are expensive (at least in the US) in this case they are testing 3 vehicles with one launch, so I guess the economics work out.

By the way, I have no idea what that hang gliding missile is all about. It seems like it must be an entirely different vehicle for an entirely different purpose. It looks to me like a transonic vehicle--incapable of supersonic/hypersonic flight. Probably a completely different project from the hypersonic gliders, just sharing the balloon ride.



posted on Sep, 26 2018 @ 06:16 PM
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Thats true but they will only fall at the speed of gravity.Maybe a step up to true hypersonic testing..Or is a low buck version of Rods from God :-P



posted on Sep, 26 2018 @ 11:08 PM
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originally posted by: Blackfinger
Thats true but they will only fall at the speed of gravity.Maybe a step up to true hypersonic testing..Or is a low buck version of Rods from God :-P


A test like this is not intended to be an end to end system test. So, yes, this would be several steps removed from an all up hypersonic test. Keep in mind that any hypersonic glider starts out at high speeds (maybe Mach = 20+) and then steadily decelerates to lower speeds and lower altitudes, until it can't fly any more. In simulations I have done, vehicles of this type tend to aerodynamically stall in horizontal flight at around Mach = 2; after that, they have to enter a vertical dive to controllably impact the ground. A vehicle like this could reach about Mach = 3 after about 10 seconds of free fall. So a test of this kind would look at how the vehicle would perform from about Mach = 3 until it impacts the ground. That's why I suggest this test would be only of the terminal phase of a mission.

Almost certainly not Rods from God. Rods from God don't need wings. They don't try to fly horizontally. They come down ballistically from orbital velocity and try to maintain as much of that velocity as possible until they impact the target. They would have only tiny fins or small rocket trusters for guidance.



posted on Sep, 30 2018 @ 12:20 PM
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a reply to: 1947boomer


China has tested three types of hypersonic aircraft models at the same time, marking another solid step into the development of hypersonic weapons, state media reported.

Tests of three scaled-down models of “wide-speed-range vehicles”, which can fly at from hypersonic velocity to lower than the speed of sound, were carried out on September 21 at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwest China, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

In the news footage, three models representing differently shaped designs, code named D18-1S, D18-2S and D18-3S, were lifted and then dropped from a balloon.

...

Whereas the Starry Sky 2 test tried out the hypersonic stage, last week’s test was to verify some technical details around the sound speed.

“Their technologies can be inter-complementary,” said military commentator Song Zhongping, based in Hong Kong. “They can be combined together and make a hypersonic missile.”

Researchers measured the respective aerodynamic features of three different design shapes, and recorded their processes of falling, accelerating, breaking the sonic barrier, aerodynamic rebound, parachute opening, landing and retrieving, while collecting data, the CCTV report said.

Song said it was to compare and choose from the three designs. There will be further wind tunnel tests with larger or real-size models before finalising the aerodynamic configuration of the vehicle.

...

Among the latest models, the two green ones seen in the test video had a shape similar to Starry Sky 2’s waverider design. But the black model had a different shape, with double-deck wings.

In a paper published in February, the Institute of Mechanics of Chinese Academy of Sciences proposed this design, claiming the “I” shape could produce 60 per cent higher lift coefficient than the waverider.


www.scmp.com...

less speculation, more info from the source.



posted on Sep, 30 2018 @ 06:15 PM
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Nukes are soooo 1980,s..



posted on Oct, 1 2018 @ 11:40 AM
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a reply to: Blackfinger

Actually, no.

if you go look, there are dozens of nuclear weapon development projects just between China and Russia. The US restarted ours, but they are delayed about 8 to 10 years behind the other two.



posted on Oct, 1 2018 @ 12:13 PM
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a reply to: anzha

The B61-12 just got approval. Production starts in March 2020.



posted on Oct, 1 2018 @ 01:39 PM
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a reply to: anzha

anti matter is better.



posted on Oct, 3 2018 @ 09:38 AM
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a reply to: grey580

It's also extremely expensive to manufacture and very difficult to hold onto.

More on our balloon drops of hypersonic vehicles:

www.janes.com...



posted on Oct, 3 2018 @ 11:36 AM
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a reply to: anzha

Or is it....



posted on Oct, 3 2018 @ 05:21 PM
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a reply to: grey580
Gets rid of all the gooey organic stuff and leaves the infrastructure standing..Much Win there..



posted on Oct, 3 2018 @ 05:43 PM
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a reply to: Blackfinger

If so, why are they bothering with nukes?



posted on Oct, 12 2018 @ 08:59 AM
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a reply to: anzha

Lots of interesting pics in night sky over China in press, reported to be of DF-ZF hypersonic glide test.

Example:

Metro article



posted on Oct, 14 2018 @ 08:38 PM
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a reply to: anzha

Because "that" particular system can be mitigated with ASAT countermeasures. It is much harder to intercept a MIRV at ballistic re-entry speeds than to destroy a satellite on a fixed orbit (this is all just supposition on my part). Also, I would imagine there could be some scalability issues to something like Proteus that is not present in the current and future generations of nuclear weapons. Nukes are probably more reliable in general, and represent more of a strategic deterrent than something like the zapper, which seems like more of a tactical theater deployment.

On another note, I am in Colorado Springs for work and I have a very interesting client that knows about it.



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