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IPFS News Link • Military

Chinese Hypersonic Missile Engine Triples US Duration Record

• by Brian Wang

,a program on military affairs affiliated with state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV), reported on over the weekend. This broke the world record of 210 seconds set by the US' X-51 aircraft.

Hypersonic missiles and vehicles are capable of flying faster than 5 times the speed of sound. Rockets can fly over 25 times the speed of sound. However, hypersonic missiles can be smaller and able to have better control of their flight. A longer duration engine would enable a hypersonic weapon to have longer powered flight. Ten minutes at mach 5 would be about 700 miles of range. Ten minutes at mach 10 would be about 1400 miles of range.

Hypersonic missiles are very difficult to make. The scramjets only operate at over 4 times the speed of sound or faster. This has meant using other propulsion to reach speed. As they lack mechanical compressors, scramjets require the high kinetic energy of a hypersonic flow to compress the incoming air to operational conditions. This is usually done with a turbojet, railgun, or rocket engines.