posted on Apr, 26 2019 @ 10:05 AM
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:
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
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: