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The Flight of Jiageng-1

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posted on Apr, 26 2019 @ 10:05 AM
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On April 22, 2019, Space Transportation Technologies - a Chinese company - flew a winged rocket demonstrator, the Jiageng-1. This is meant to be a demonstrator for a two stage to orbit rocket. The flight flew up to 26 km altitude and hit Mach 3.5. The test vehicle has a waverider shape designed by Xiamen University’s School of Aeronautics and Astronautics. The vehicle has a length of 8.7m and a wing span of 2.5m.

The purpose of the demonstrator is to verify the recovery and reuse of the vehicle. I am absolutely sure it's also meant to verify a number of aerodynamics characteristics as well of the waverider. That is very, very useful for hypersonic aircraft. The rocket was successfully recovered:

The video isn't available on youtube afaik, but is here:

news.xmu.edu.cn...

The ultimate goal, as stated, is a TSTO. The imagery is a little embellished for the roadmap:



However, the flight path ought to be remiscent of what ATS loves to speculate(*) the US has had since the 1980s:



The landing looks far more Kratos Valkyrie than SpaceX or Rockwell STS or their proposed X-33. It does remind me a bit of the cancelled and rotting X-34.

Jiageng looks interesting for the future for both launch vehicles and as a testbed for potentially hypersonic aircraft.

Keep your eyes open, folks, and your bots set to crawl.



*. they're wrong though

Some related info:

spacenews.com...




posted on Apr, 26 2019 @ 10:23 AM
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a reply to: anzha

So they want to put a Pegasus on a fancy first stage?

Nothing secretive about the US equivalent. Flying white world since 1990.



posted on Apr, 26 2019 @ 10:37 AM
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a reply to: mightmight

The Pegasus isn't launched from the ground and isn't a waverider.



posted on Apr, 26 2019 @ 11:17 AM
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a reply to: anzha

Of course not, but it provides pretty much the same capability based on your graphic. I can't read Chinese.

I dont see the point of using a 'Waverider' type design. That would be pretty niche and unnecssarily complicated. Smaller payloads can be easily handled by a more conventional Pegasus type solution. And if they're looking at larger payloads i don't see why they wouldnt go for a *conventional* resuable rocket like the Falcon.
edit on 26-4-2019 by mightmight because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 26 2019 @ 11:42 AM
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a reply to: mightmight



Pegasus is a 4 stage counting carrier. The cost per launch is $40M. The Chinese are probably aiming to reduce that cost.

This is, in many ways, closer to the XS-1 Boeing is supposedly making for DARPA than the Pegasus.



posted on Apr, 26 2019 @ 12:54 PM
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a reply to: anzha

Again not the argument, of course the Pegasus a different, less ambitious solution. But it provides the same capability - putting a payload into orbit.

And how would the Chinese approach be any cheaper?
Based on your graphic the upper stage is still expandable. And i seriously doubt they waverider first stage will be as cheap to operate than the L-1011 for Pegasus.
Of course they could end up with a somewhat cheaper upper stage since the first stage waverider would have a far superior flight envelope compared to the L-1011. But you know as well as i do how little the flight envelope of the first stage matters when you need to reach Mach 25.

So about the XS-1 comparison. Maybe thats in their cards. We've already talked about that though and I haven't changed my opinion. Don't reinvent the wheel and put your reusable spaceplane on the equally resuable Falcon instead.
If you want an emergency launch capability, by half a dozen Falcons and put them in high readiness storage.

I love ambitious tech as much as the next guy, but i'll be very surprised if the Chinese will end up with some waverider first stage and not a conventional Falcon / New Gleen clone.



posted on Apr, 26 2019 @ 05:18 PM
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a reply to: mightmight

I suspect the Chinese are testing multiple tech here. Waverider is being tested on top of the other application. Their art doesn't show waverider-ish characteristics. Probably helped pay for the test article by allowing it to be used for another purpose.

If you read the bottom link, the Chinese are pursuing a F9 equivalent. However, that's not something aviation related (no wings) and so kinda ot.

As for the F9/XS-1 discussion, you're right that we've been round that circle plenty. Does make you wonder if its really a bad idea if both the Chinese and Americans are pursuing it though.



posted on Apr, 29 2019 @ 09:48 AM
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IDK why people dd so much cheese when they edit these things, but...here it is.



posted on Apr, 30 2019 @ 08:51 AM
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Supposedly, part of the Jiangeng-1.



posted on Apr, 30 2019 @ 04:47 PM
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One cool machining job that.




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