China Is Testing Weapons That Can Reach The US In 14 Minutes

Tyler Durden's picture

A secretive hypersonic wind tunnel, nicknamed 'Hyper Dragon', is helping the experts 'reveal many facts that Americans have not found out', one Chinese researcher said in a propaganda documentary...

South China Morning Post's Stephen Chen reports that China is building the world’s fastest wind tunnel to simulate hypersonic flight at speeds of up to 12 kilometres per second.

A hypersonic vehicle flying at this speed from China could reach the west coast of the United States in less than 14 minutes.

Zhao Wei, a senior scientist working on the project, said researchers aimed to have the facility up and running by around 2020 to meet the pressing demand of China’s hypersonic weapon development programme.

“It will boost the engineering application of hypersonic technology, mostly in military sectors, by duplicating the environment of extreme hypersonic flights, so problems can be discovered and solved on the ground,” said Zhao, a deputy director of the State Key Laboratory of High Temperature Gas Dynamics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing.

The ground tests will significantly reduce the risk of failure when test flights of hypersonic aircraft start.

The world’s most powerful wind tunnel at present is America’s LENX-X facility in Buffalo, New York state, which operates at speeds of up to 10 kilometres per second – 30 times the speed of sound.

Hypersonic aircraft are defined as vehicles that travel at speeds of Mach 5, five times the speed of sound, or above.

The US military tested HTV-2, a Mach 20 unmanned aircraft in 2011 but the hypersonic flight lasted only a few minutes before the vehicle crashed into the Pacific Ocean.

In March, China conducted seven successful test flights of its hypersonic glider WU-14, also known as the DF-ZF, at speeds of between Mach 5 and Mach 10.

Other countries including Russia, India and Australia have also tested some early prototypes of the aircraft, which could be used to deliver missiles including nuclear weapons.

“China and the US have started a hypersonic race,” said Wu Dafang, professor at the school of aeronautic science and engineering at Beihang University in Beijing who received a national technology award for the invention of a new heat shield used on hypersonic vehicles in 2013.

Wu has worked on the development of hypersonic cruise missiles, a near space vehicle, high-speed drones and other possible weapons for the People’s Liberation Army.

He said there were a number of hypersonic wind tunnels in mainland China which had helped ensure the high success rate of its hypersonic weapon tests.

The new wind tunnel will be “one of the most powerful and advanced ground test facilities for hypersonic vehicles in the world”, said Wu, who was not involved in the project.


“This is definitely good news for us. I look forward to its completion,” he added.

In the new tunnel there will be a test chamber with room for relatively large aircraft models with a wing span of almost three metres.

To generate an airflow at extremely high speeds, the researchers will detonate several tubes containing a mixture of oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen gases to create a series of explosions that can discharge one gigawatt of power within a split second, according to Zhao.

This is more than half of the total power generation capacity of the Daya Bay nuclear power plant in Guangdong.

The shock waves, channelled into the test chamber through a metallic tunnel, will envelope the prototype vehicle and increase the temperature over its body to 8,000 Kelvins, or 7,727 degrees Celsius, Zhao said.

That is nearly 50 per cent hotter than the surface of the Sun.

The hypersonic vehicle therefore must be covered by special materials with extremely efficient cooling systems inside the airframe to dissipate the heat, otherwise it could easily veer off the course or disintegrate during a long-distance flight.

The new tunnel would also be used to test the scramjet, a new type of jet engine designed specifically for hypersonic flights. Traditional jet engines are not capable of handling air flows at such speeds.

Zhao said the construction of the new facility would be led by the same team that built JF12, a hypervelocity denotation-driven shock tunnel in Beijing capable of duplicating flight conditions at speeds ranging from Mach 5 to Mach 9 at altitudes between 20 and 50 kilometres.

Jiang Zonglin, lead developer of the JF12, won the annual Ground Test Award issued by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics last year for advancing “state-of-the-art large-scale hypersonic test facilities”.

Jiang’s JF12 design “uses no moving parts and generates a longer test-duration and a higher energy flow than more traditionally designed tunnels”, according to the American institute.

According to state media reports, the JF12 tunnel has been operating at full capacity with a new test every two days since its completion in 2012 as the pace of hypersonic weapon development increased significantly in recent years.

In an article published in the domestic journal National Science Review last month, Jiang said the impact of hypersonic flights on society could be “revolutionary”.

“With practical hypersonic aeroplanes, a two-hour flight to anywhere in the world will be possible” while the cost of space travel could be cut by 99 per cent with reusable spacecraft technology, Jiang wrote.


“Hypersonic flight is, and in the foreseeable future will be, the driver of national security, and civilian transportation and space access,” he added.

The escape velocity, or the minimum speed needed to leave the Earth, is 11 kilometres per second.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
07564111's picture

Russia already has ;)

algol_dog's picture

Lets make sure to spend billions upon trillions on trying to out do them. 

What is the freakin point already?

Gap Admirer's picture

And you think they're going to blow up their largest customer?  Not until they start making all of their money on chrome plated plastic trinkets  from someone else.

IH8OBAMA's picture

Must be something WE already have because we all know the Chinese steal all of their technology from the U.S.


Eyes Opened's picture

A fatal & rather arrogant assumption....

People used to say that about japanese "crap".... 

China can & does produce quality products.... the fact that Walmart et al order junk off of them & SELL IT TO YOU says alot more about american consumers... or the CSAtm  (cheap shit army) as I like to call 'em....

Dsyno's picture

14 minutes? F that. Satellite weaponry is practically instantaneous.

Sudden Debt's picture

The star wars programm doesn't work and hasn't worked for over 40 years since they started trying.


But when I see this what the Chinese did, all I can think of is that with the money they wasted on the banks, they could have build a Mars colony of half a million people and we could already have been transforming mars to make it viable.

America used to be number one and 20 years later it's number 20.

Let's hope the Chinese are able to reach the next level as they're the new hope.

Laughing.Man's picture

New hope for who?  As far as I'm concerned, we should concentrate on going our own way.  If we're followed, great.  If not, who cares.

Stuck on Zero's picture

Why use ICBMs and hypersonic planes to send warheads when you can put them in containers and ship them for as low as $1200.

Dsyno's picture

"The star wars programm doesn't work"

So apparently you don't believe "The Rod of God", nor the like, exist... or simply don't work.

French Bloke's picture

@Gap Admirer - if you don't already realise, the silk road doesn't include USSA. So why wouldn't they?

Iwanttoknow's picture

America's ultimate hubris, manifest destiny.

yogibear's picture

US defense contractors already gave China all it's secret technology.

All for the sake of globalism.

Outsourced jobs, imported H1Bs, discouraged American youth from going into technology jobs by replacing them with temp workers.

As a result corporate America has created it's own demise.

geno-econ's picture

A stellar accomplishment of Realpolitik and Jackson Vanik amendment----thank you Mr Kissinger.  So we managed to get a few thousand Jews out of Soviet Union and now have a Communist rival far more stronger than Russia and has left our economy in deficit heaven strangled by useless Wars with Empire competition by global Oligarchs  

Crazy Or Not's picture

Agreed, their position as preferred supplier to 70% +/- of online & container goods sold (?) 
Their position is defensive. Military is factory/resource security force.
US military is a Global Empirical force to which expansion of Chinese Industrial Economic Power is a threat to US preeminence.

Gap Admirer's picture

Advanced research (usually it's in the miliraty realm when it comes to materials/flight) is also good for any country who does it.

Crazy Or Not's picture

If we can all - mutually get past the WWIII bottleneck Hypersonics will have amazing possibilities on commercial flight/urgent freight etc.
I maintain Apollo was really a Ballistic Missile program guised as civilian Space Flight to make it more palletable to citizens. That and having means to take out Sputniks...

geno-econ's picture

Nonsense. Genesis was purely for military purposes. Just consider cost or misslles, rocket fuel and technology just to get the latest I Phone to Johonny.  However, electric drones based on supermagnet technology sold to China by President Nixon family will revolutionize local transport and delivery. Incidentally, China sought supermagnet technology bacause they have abundant rare earths necessary for supermagnet manufacture---a smart move on their part back in the 70's

Pendolino's picture

Presumably you're viewing ZH on one of those chrome-plated plastic trinkets right now?

Gap Admirer's picture

Plastic, but not chrome plated.  Even though the hot chicks dig it, the chrome plated plastic is WAY to gaudy for me...

Mine Is Bigger's picture

There won't be China, at least as one united entity, before too long.


overbet's picture

Military conflict with the US is not in their interest. They arent the war mongers.

algol_dog's picture

Military conflict is in their interest if their departments, just like ours, expect to get further funding.

silverer's picture

"...Weapons That Can Reach The US In 14 Minutes"

This is bad new for all those rich folks that build million dollar bomb shelters out in the woods.  Try getting out of Wall St. to the Poconos in 14 minutes during an air raid.

techpriest's picture

Something tells me this is part research, and part propaganda.

China announces "we can totally do this!" to get the US to start spending large amounts of money on an imaginary threat. In the currency war, we go bust first, and they buy up American assets at pennies on the dollar.

Similar to what we were doing with Star Wars and the Russians, right? If they could actually do this, do you think they would let the world know "it can be done, please start competing with us?"

JohninMK's picture

Yup, in cahoots with their buddies in the US MIC.

geno-econ's picture

I thought it was the Catskills

JRobby's picture

In 100 years we have gone from dropping small bombs by hand from a bi-plane to hypersonic and ICB nuclear weapon delivery systems.

Yet humans have not made much headway in the skill of conflic resolution.

That said, the people that end up in conflict resolution positions tend to be owned tools of the sociopatic power junkies or are one themselves. 

Eyes Opened's picture

+1 JR...

It's actually rather depressing to think of the waste of resources, brains & engineering prowess on WMD... not just in the US but worldwide...

Imagine the world we could be inhabiting if all research was used for positive & life-enhancing technologies for ALL on the planet...

I sit here by the fire on the west coast of Ireland, with a guinness in hand & think what might have been... luckily (?) I have no children to inherit this intellectual & soon-to-be physical wasteland... 

Vanity, all is vanity....   :-(

techpriest's picture

It all starts with thinking. At one time in WW1, soldiers quit fighting and celebrated Christmas together. Imagine if that kind of thinking could be re-cultivated in humanity.

IMO the Christmas Truce and what it could mean, not "science," is the driver of modern hatred of religion in elite circles.

deja's picture

Yes, but they had some common ground.  In this case, their Christian religion and the holidays.  There's no longer any common ground, it's all about "diversity" no matter what the consequences even when that diversity has gone so far as to destroy the social and moral glue that holds a nation together.

Razor_Edge's picture

You need to open them wider. As I sit here on the east coast of Ireland with a Jemmie on the rocks in my hand, I think the problem is not so much vanity as insatiable greed and power lust to the point of insanity and objective evil. Some people can never be satisfied.

E5's picture

This article is horseshit.  Renssealer in Troy NY has a privately held mach 30 wind tunnel and the best Aerospace program in the nation.  Rich Jones published the successful trials of a mach 28 aircraft in 1991.  Suck it.

Top secret projects mean other schools are not told.  Work your whole life inventing something that was invented 30 years ago.  Choose your school wisely.  RPI = aerospace  UChicago = chemistry etc, etc.  I can tell you it is not fun having your thesis stamped top secret and being unable to publish and thus get your degree.  They own your ass as they are your only potential employer.  Sure they pay great and pick up your education tab, but seriously, if you were interested in industrial engineering and manufacturing where your intellectual property would make you millions: to get shafted into a 90k salary to build laser turrets for C130's is a waste of your life.  and fuck you if you think I owe it to my country.

Maxter's picture

Here is all you need to know about hypersonic travel:

You control the airflow with MHD (MagnetoHydroDynamic) forces as to cancel shockwaves. (paper here: )

Then you solve the velikhov instabilities that will appear with this paper:

Or this one (same principle): 

That's it.

deja's picture

The Chinese can't even make a decent supersonic fighter jet engine.

HRClinton's picture

Wow, "Faster than a speeding bullet!"


E5's picture

Mach 25 is exit velocity for a scram jet to fly straight while the earth curvature dissappears.  4 hours from NYC to Tokyo because you have to orbit once and then decelerate.

Wings burn off below 10,000 feet though.  Just a little hiccup

Crazy Or Not's picture

I notice that Australia had a Scram Jet in 2001: - Leaves me asking more conspiracy questions about the UN Diplomat who recently took up parachuteless basejumping. ??? 

Hypersonics  frequently seem to feature those super stubby wings or  lifting body profiles

Crazy Or Not's picture

Corbett Report gave a conference on this recently in Denmark: Echos of World War I.

China & Russia are not so foolish to match US Carrier Fleets etc when they're old 20th Century Tech.

As Neo would say... Hmmm Upgrades.

US version.

EddieLomax's picture

Russia and China are also more continental countries, they have large borders with multiple nations to defend against such as India.

The USSR managed to bankrupt itself trying to be both a maritime power and a continental power while its strategic position shows it should be a continental power.

Same for the UK, our defence relies on the seas, hence our army should be smaller than countries like Germany or France.  The US is rather unique being an entire continent on its own though.

Crazy Or Not's picture

Russia & China MUST defend themselves against US preeminence, if not they will be factories under US Governance. 
I maintain both are resistant to European models of US /3rd party influence in ownership/profit distribution. and seek to maintain sovreignty of National Interest, freedom of economy. As they increase profitability they increasingly threaten US Global Hedgemon.

Unfortunately for Putin, USSR needed to bankrupt itself in order to learn the advantages of capitalism and Global Trade as mechanisms for growth. His catch up efforts have been impressive, though notably secondary to China's. 

Agreed land armies, though you miss out on Canada - USA proxy Northern Coastguard Force. 

any_mouse's picture

Forgetting about Canada and Mexico.

Uniquely having a large land mass with the Pacific on one and the Atlantic on the other, along with the Gulf of Mexico on the south side.

The Russians that sold Alaska to the US really blew it.

The USA would have no Arctic access.

Soviet bases in Alaska.

JohninMK's picture

Not sure Mexico and Canada would agree with your last comment.

GUS100CORRINA's picture

China Is Testing Weapons That Can Reach The US In 14 Minutes

My response: When we see where military technology is ultimately headed, is it any wonder why GOD of the Bible (YHWH Elohim) inspired the following text to be written in the books of Matthew and Mark? 

Note that GOD is saying that NO FLESH WOULD BE SAVED unless He intervened to save man from himself.


Matthew 24:22 (NKJV)

22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.

Mark 13:20 (NKJV)

20 And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days


Of course, we know GOD is outside of time. In Isaiah 46:10 GOD declared the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘His counsel shall stand and He will do all His pleasure.