China is signaling the possible arrival of a hypersonic missile known as “Feitian-1” in collaboration with the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics of North-western Polytechnical University in northwest China. The plans regarding the launch of this missile have started rolling out, but getting sound information from Chinese authorities is a tedious task as they prefer to work behind the scenes. However, as per the information released, the Feitian-1 is a rocket-based combined cycle propelled vehicle that seems to be a well-established player in space missions.
On that count, this technology-driven missile accelerates its RBCC engine to a speed that is greater than Mach 5, and this is huge. This incredible scientific feat became possible due to the mechanism of this engine, which works on the principle of air-suction, which enables it to gain speed at higher altitudes. The engine consists of three parts, i.e., an air-breathing ram jet, an air-breathing scram jet, and a ducted rocket. As soon as the vehicle gains speed, the engine transforms its speed from a lower to a higher orbital nature and turns into an entire rocket as soon as it achieves its top speed.
One of the standout features of this engine is its capability to accumulate oxygen from the air through its suction ducts. Due to this, it is independent of carrying the oxygen tanks like a rocket engine, and that gives it a competitive advantage to support more fuel as there is no contained weight for the oxygen tank. However, talking about the engine fuel, this Feitian-1 consumes “kerosene-based aviation fuel.” As the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics at North-western Polytechnical University says, “Such an RBCC engine is the first in a hypersonic flight vehicle.”
Chinese authorities that are related to this mission have done a “ground-launched flight test” of the engine on July 2, and it says that the mission was conducted in an efficient manner. The RBCC engine successfully metamorphized its mode from one phase to the other and gained considerable speed. It also executed “thermal throat adjustment” and “ultra-wide flight envelope combustion”. Hence, it is subjected of doing an outstanding job as it is built with state-of-the-art technologies. Thus, we are looking forward to more specific details of this unusual marvel, which will be brought to you when released by the official authorities.