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China to build the world’s fastest wind tunnel

Wind tunnel

It has been revealed that China is set to build the world’s fastest hypersonic wind tunnel that will be used to aid the development of spacecraft.

Wind tunnels are often used by spacecraft engineers to test different designs, with the wind tunnels moving air around objects, giving both statistical and physical insight into the aerodynamics, resistance and other features of shuttles.

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“The 265-meter-long tunnel can be used to test hypersonic aircraft that can travel at speeds of up to Mach 25 (30,625kph), 25 times the speed of sound,” Han Guilai, a Researcher from China's State Key Laboratory of High Temperature Gas Dynamics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences said, according to China’s state-run news agency Xinhua who first revealed the news.

The wind tunnel will be able to able to simulate flights speeds of between Mach 5 to 9. For comparison, the world’s fastest fighter jets can currently only travel at speeds of up to 2.5 Mach.

"The new tunnel will aid the engineering application of hypersonic technology by duplicating the environment of extreme hypersonic flights,” Guilai said. “Once issues are discovered during these ground tests, they will be ironed out before test flights begin.”

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