XingKong-2 (XK-2) Chinese hypersonic waverider vehicle

antigravite

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Hi,

I am looking for any information on a Chinese waverider "project" very recently identified in the technical literature as "XK-2".

This code-name / identifiyer means there is/was an XK-1 something on which I have / there are even less clues.
To this day, I do not know if this XK-2 thinggy is purely academic-like stuff, i.e. a mere configuration name with internal reference. Or if it is something (or part of something) way bigger.

This mysterious XK-2 project originates from the China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics (CAAA), formerly known as the Beijing Institute of Aerodynamics (BIA) or the 701st Institute of China Aerospace Science and Technology. And quite interestingly, the 701 institute was studying…

To the best of my knowledge, the very first piece of information on the XK-2 was openly published in August 2016, although there is a need to do more homework scouting Chinese information system databases. And I have not had enough time to do this homework yet, Chinese hypersonics being a very distant pet project (really).

A.
 

bobbymike

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Re: China hypersonic XK-2 waverider vehicle

http://aviationweek.com/technology/china-takes-wraps-national-hypersonic-plan#comment-719861
 

bobbymike

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Re: China hypersonic XK-2 waverider vehicle

http://www.nextbigfuture.com/2017/04/china-reveals-hypersonic-scramjet-developments-and-plans.html
 

Grey Havoc

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Re: China hypersonic XK-2 waverider vehicle

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2158524/chinas-hypersonic-aircraft-starry-sky-2-could-be-used

China has successfully tested a new hypersonic aircraft that could one day be used to carry missiles at such speeds as to make them unstoppable, according to scientists involved in the project.

The Starry Sky-2, which is an experimental design known as waverider – for its ability to ride on the shock waves it generates – completed its first test flight on Friday at an undisclosed location in northwest China, the China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics said in a statement issued on Monday.

The aircraft was carried into space by a multistage rocket before separating and relying on its own power. During independent flight it conducted extreme turning manoeuvres, maintained velocities above Mach 5.5 (five-and-a-half times the speed of sound) for more than 400 seconds, and achieved a top speed of Mach 6, or 7,344km/h (4,563mph) the statement said.

On completion of the flight, which was deemed a “huge success”, the aircraft landed in a designated target zone, it said.

The entire flight was controlled and provided effective test data, while the aircraft itself was recovered “whole”, the statement said.

“The test … has laid a solid technological foundation for engineering applications of the waverider design,” it said.

Although still at the experimental stage, once fully developed, waveriders could be used to carry warheads capable of penetrating any anti-missile defence system currently available.

[snip]
 

sferrin

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Re: China hypersonic XK-2 waverider vehicle

"On completion of the flight, which was deemed a “huge success”, the aircraft landed in a designated target zone, it said.

The entire flight was controlled and provided effective test data, while the aircraft itself was recovered “whole”, the statement said."


That's significant. :eek:
 

sferrin

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Re: China hypersonic XK-2 waverider vehicle

TomcatViP said:
Splash-down?
Or maybe snag out of air with helicopter or aircraft.
 

DrRansom

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Re: China hypersonic XK-2 waverider vehicle

Recovering the airframe is a huge deal. Especially if it cruised and maneuvered at hypersonic speeds.
 

XP67_Moonbat

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Re: China hypersonic XK-2 waverider vehicle

Screenshots.

https://m.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2158524/chinas-hypersonic-aircraft-starry-sky-2-could-be-used
 

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Grey Havoc

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Re: China hypersonic XK-2 waverider vehicle

I wonder if they used a Rogallo wing for recovery, like those the Americans (example) and the Germans worked on, perhaps coupled with a airbag or even an air cushion landing system. Of course they would then need a ballute or other type of speed brake to slow down the vehicle to a speed range where such a wing could safely be deployed.
 

flateric

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Re: China hypersonic XK-2 waverider vehicle

http://www.eastpendulum.com/mach-6-400-secondes-essai-reussi-dun-waverider-hypersonique-chinois
 

Moose

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Re: China hypersonic XK-2 waverider vehicle

400 seconds powered hypersonic flight is pretty remarkable for such a small vehicle. Especially one with enough of a guidance system and control surfaces for "extreme maneuvering."
 

sferrin

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Re: China hypersonic XK-2 waverider vehicle

Moose said:
400 seconds powered hypersonic flight is pretty remarkable for such a small vehicle. Especially one with enough of a guidance system and control surfaces for "extreme maneuvering."
Certainly puts the abandoned X-51 to shame.
 

djfawcett

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Re: China hypersonic XK-2 waverider vehicle

This one of those times I just want to call BS
 

DrRansom

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Re: China hypersonic XK-2 waverider vehicle

Moose said:
400 seconds powered hypersonic flight is pretty remarkable for such a small vehicle. Especially one with enough of a guidance system and control surfaces for "extreme maneuvering."
I don't think this is a powered test. At least everything in the article says an unpowered waverider.
 

Flyaway

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XingKong-2 Chinese hypersonic ‘waverider’ vehicle

Chinese waverider vehicle hits Mach 6

The test of the unmanned system, designated Starry Sky 2, took place recently in Northwestern China, reports the official China Daily newspaper.

During the flight the vehicle reached an altitude of 30km and undertook several maneuvers.

The wedge-shaped vehicle was initially lifted by a solid propellant rocket, before detaching and performing its flight. China Daily reports that the aircraft is a “waverider,” using its own shock waves to generate lift.
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/chinese-waverider-vehicle-hits-mach-6-450926/
 

Moose

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Re: China hypersonic XK-2 waverider vehicle

DrRansom said:
Moose said:
400 seconds powered hypersonic flight is pretty remarkable for such a small vehicle. Especially one with enough of a guidance system and control surfaces for "extreme maneuvering."
I don't think this is a powered test. At least everything in the article says an unpowered waverider.
I've seen conflicting interpretations/translations and the SCMP is definitely trying to suggest powered flight, can't tell if it's just the usual PLA fanboy-ism or just people not knowing enough about what they're reporting on. I would agree that taking the possible size of the vehicle and duration cited together makes more sense as Boost-Glide.
 

antigravite

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Hmmm... Quite happy to have 'identified' this beast way back in 2016…
Several waverider patents from CAAA, NUDT (PLA), Beihang University, Univ Nanjing, Univ Xiamen
They don't play the same game and some of these actors specialized in airbreathing vehicles using Kothari-like designs…
I'll make it very being super busy those days B)
BTW, the PLA set up a dedicated research lab/ tech center to explore hypersonic technologies called the Unit 63820. It once filled patent on hypersonic inlet design…

Latest CAAA issued hypersonic waverider patent:

"Layout of internal and external flow waverider aircraft"
Inventor: ZHANG HONGJUN, CHEN BINGYAN
Applicant: CHINA ACAD OF AEROSPACE AERODYNAMICS CAAA
Patent #: CN107867387 (A)
Issue date: 2018-04-03
Priority date: 2017-10-16

To the best of my knowledge, the earliest PRC recorded patent showing interest in waverider design was filed in 2008 by Nanjin univ researchers (and issued in 2010 as CN101392685).

A.
 

GARGEAN

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That one on photo looks like extremely trivial solid-fuel missile with cylindrical body and conical nose. Am I missing something?
 

antigravite

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GARGEAN said:
That one on photo looks like extremely trivial solid-fuel missile with cylindrical body and conical nose. Am I missing something?
Hmmm… protective fairing released somewhere between 13 and 29km in this case?

A
 

GARGEAN

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antigravite said:
Hmmm… protective fairing released somewhere between 13 and 29km in this case?

A
Ah, so it's just outer cover. Found scetches with proposed visual look in one of links.
 

sferrin

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAmZJoF_i5w
 

bobbymike

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Not sure if this is the best place for this.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/08/24/chinas_new_missile_force_new_ambitions_new_challenges_113739.html

At the end of 2015 the missile branch of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the Second Artillery Force (第二炮兵部队), was formally elevated to a full service and renamed the Rocket Force (火箭军; PLARF) part of a sweeping drive to improve the PLA’s joint operations, command and control, and combat effectiveness.

The establishment of the PLARF signals the increasing importance of conventional and nuclear missiles to PLA warfighting and deterrence capabilities. It also foreshadows continued, substantial investment in missile force modernization at both tactical and strategic levels in the years ahead.
 
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