China Researching Ultra-Supersonic Aviation

China's conceptual research on ultra-supersonic aviation will hopefully catch up with advanced international levels soon, Zhuang Fenggan, academician at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and a prestigious aerodynamics expert, revealed on September 15. He predicted that China will be able to manufacture such aircraft 10 to 15 years from now, according to the latest Beijing Review.

Zhuang made the remarks at the annual academic conference involving the Chinese Association of Sciences. Ultra-supersonic aviation refers to aircraft with a cruise speed exceeding five times that of the velocity of sound, or more than 1.7 km per second. Currently, the fastest aircraft travels at a speed three times the velocity of sound. According to calculations, an ultra-supersonic aircraft is able to circle the globe in less than seven hours.

Zhuang, who has been researching aerodynamic applications in aerospace technology for many years, pointed out that ultra-supersonic aviation is the major direction of development for aviation and aerospace technology in the 21st century. Given its strategic importance in the military, and in politics and economies, many countries, including the United States, Russia, France, Germany, Japan and India, have been actively conducting research on such aircraft. So far, however, not a single country has manufactured any ultra-supersonic aircraft for practical use.

Financed by the National Foundation of Natural Sciences and other organizations, basic research on ultra-supersonic aircraft in China is underway. Although the country started fairly late, it has already made significant progress in key technologies and trial flight simulations.

People's Daily Online ---