It has been reported that China has manufactured a wind tunnel in order to test its hypersonic flights, but unfortunately, the local grids of China can’t support this enormous power system to conduct its operations regarding hypersonic flights. A lot of parameters need to be taken into consideration, including the temperature, power, and altitude to test the hypersonic flights in this wind tunnel. For some security reasons, the exact location of the tunnel has not been revealed by the authorities, but we can’t deny the importance of wind tunnels as they are the primary means to assess the hypersonic flight capabilities of aircraft and weapons.
It is interesting to note that China is not the only one that has taken the course of manufacturing wind tunnels for their hypersonic flights. The U.S. and the Soviet Union also manufactured this cutting-edge technology during the Cold War era. However, details about their power consumption have not yet been reported. Similarly, the U.S. has also developed the “world’s first continuous hypersonic wind tunnel” that can withstand hypersonic flight speeds between Mach 7 and 10.
This Chinese-built hypersonic wind tunnel is about 10 feet wide, which is about three times as wide as compared to the U.S. tunnel, which was about 3.3 feet in width. However, it was examined by the researcher at the Institute of Mechanics in Beijing that if China is planning to perform these tests under continuous wind flow conditions at Mach 8, then it would need a continuous power flow of 900 MW, which is huge as compared to the U.S. wind tunnel that operated on a power capacity of 57 MW.
Moreover, as per the analysis of this calculation, he deduced that the altitude required for hypersonic flight is 131,000 feet along with a vigorous temperature of 4892 Fahrenheit or (2700 degrees Celsius). Not only this, but seeing these power generation parameters, local grids have laid down their hands against this because of their inefficacy to support it. Therefore, the “diesel-powered pumps” that are deployed in the ship engines will be used for power generation. Apart from this, to ionize the air and to further increase the speed of air, high voltage heaters and fans are required for this purpose, respectively.
Coupled with this, no matter how many alternative technologies are utilized by the Chinese engineers, there are still a handful of technical challenges which they have to overcome. For example, the diesel engine that they have deployed as an alternative to the local grid system might induce some errors in the connecting and disconnecting parameters, which in turn would severely damage the mechanical parts of the system. This could pose a threat to their efficient operational performance. However, these quantitative details about the Chinese-built wind tunnel are published in a research paper which was written by the researchers at “The Beijing Institute of Space Long March Vehicle.”