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Future air-breathing hypersonic airplanes can go from Beijing to NY in just 2 hours

Washington, Dec 18 (ANI): After three years of innovative study, researchers have presented a body-wing-blending configuration with double flanking air inlets layout to aim at design requirements of high lift-to-drag ratio as well as high volumetric efficiency of next generation hypersonic airplanes.

Dr. Cui Kai and his group from State Key Laboratory of High Temperature Gas Dynamics, Institute of Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences worked together to design a hypersonic airplane that can travel from Beijing to New York in only two hours.

The current aerodynamic design for hypersonic vehicles is mainly for the demonstration vehicles which focused on minimizing resistance and the optimal matching between airframe and engine, and the forebody and engine inlet integrated design is the key issues for the configuration design.

The current air-breathing hypersonic vehicles can be mainly divided into two categories according to the different inlet layouts, i.e. with nose inlet and with ventral inlet.

With the progress of scramjet research, various air-breathing hypersonic vehicles are bound to gradually enter the practical stage.

As the air-breathing hypersonic vehicle can be considered as a development of modern high-speed airplanes with the extended flight speed and flight altitudes, the researchers deem that the existing design ideas/experience of high speed airplanes should be retained or referred to some typical high speed airplanes.

By drawing on the merits of the existing airplane configuration design philosophy, a novel forebody design methodology which by rotating and assembling two waverider-based surfaces is firstly introduced, and a body-wing-blending configuration with double flanking air inlets layout is also presented. On this basis, a conceptual hypersonic airplane powered by double symmetric scramjet is proposed.

Further work for the design of the engine inlet and the optimization design of wing leading edge will be carried out based on this study.

As the forebody with double waverider-based surfaces retains advantages of the waverider, such as high mass flow, high lift-to-drag ratio, etc., the existing ventral inlet design experience can be useful for the inlet design.

The study is published in journal SCIENCE CHINA. (ANI)

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