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Near space rocket-powered aircraft Beihang-4 successfully launched

(People's Daily Online)    10:39, June 17, 2020

The launch of Beihang-4 (Photo provided by Beihang University)

The red-painted near space rocket-powered aircraft, codenamed Beihang-4, successfully launched and landed at its designated location after a 400-second navigation recently, marking its successful maiden flight and showcasing the results of Beihang's integrated project-based talent cultivation system.

The launch of Beihang-4 (Photo provided by Beihang University)

Beihang-4 has a total length of 8.7 m and weighs about 1,300 kg. It consists of a solid-propellant rocket booster and a solid-liquid powered cruise aircraft.

This flight mainly aims to demonstrate and verify the possibility of powered near space flight with a level flight altitude of 24 km, a level flight speed of 3 Ma and a flight range of about 200 km.

The flight test successfully verified a long-time variable thrust solid-liquid powered rocket engine technology and technologies of the overall design, navigation and flight control of rocket-propellant aircraft with a wide speed range in large airspace, which can be applied to near space atmosphere parameter measurement, earth observation and high-speed over-the-air data transmission. In the future, these technologies can provide possibilities for new rocket-propellant aircraft.

Preparations ahead of the launch of Beihang-4 (Photo provided by Beihang University)

Beihang University places high value on the development and launch of Beihang-4. It has attracted 21 doctoral students, 49 master’s students and 16 undergraduate students to take part in the design, development and flight testing. It is also strongly supported by several aerospace institutions and organizations such as Changde National High-tech Industrial Development Zone.

A group photo of the Beihang-4 laboratory team (Photo provided by Beihang University)

Founded in October 1952, Beihang University is the first institution of higher education in aeronautics and astronautics established after the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Since its founding, the university has consistently ranked among China’s key academic institutions.

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(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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