Monday, July 13, 2015

Noise from WU-14

Noise from WU-14
There was some noise about the 4th test of the Chinese-stuff hypersonic glider WU-14, which may be used to pass through the missile defense system of the U.S. Only one online news media wrote something about it, as something the US should be on the alert; some other minor ones just repeated the story. That is a good way to do news in professional journalism in free countries, like the US and European nations. They do not publish things they do not have enough information on, do not really understand the event, or can not confirm certain information, data. None of news agencies like ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, NY Times, LA Times, Reuters, AFP, Telegraph, Guardian, Spiegel etc. But the Chinese Defense Ministry and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), not like the first time— trying to be semi-“secretive” by not confirming anything— jumped to the chance to openly admit that they had launched such 4th trial again. Then and some Youtube clips in Chinese language also jumped in the band wagon to celebrate too fast the “unknown” success of WU-14 this time. As I said before, all these actions from the Chinese Def. Ministry, PLA , or mouth pieces of Russia like Russia Today (RT), Sputniknews. are just “fake forces/words/acts” , meant to deceive, to hide real strength or capability. At least to the non-expert population, general public. And here is the reason:
It is “amazingly difficult” to make a successful hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV). The US was way ahead of China and has tried to study the problems of this kind aerodynamics for almost 50 years, and has succeeded 5 times as reported, but similar hypersonic reentry vehicles were a lot more successful. And the problems with the HGV are: The physics and engineering problems, especially engineering’s, are very hard to solve at that kind of heat (3500 dgr F) , encountered in such enormous speed from Mach 10 and up. There are problems to overcome :
1. Heat/Heat transfer
2. Pressure
3. Shockwaves
4. Plasma
5. Boundary layers
6. Multiple shock interaction
The most important thing is to keep the vehicle from blowing up, as they have happened to both US and China’s missiles-vehicles of this type. As happened it has come to the outer shell (airplane skin) ; ceramic matrix composites are very promising material candidate.
Therefore, it is not easy as eating bananas, is it ?
Ryan Faith in the article below also points out the difficulty in the problem of steering at Mach 10 speed. And rightly so. Any changes in the atmosphere or other conditions, surroundings and variables can make change to the relative position and the course of flying. How would autonomous or remote-control computer control work on this glider to handle these changes ? Even with homing, guiding system, I doubt that hitting a rather large target, for example an area about 50 football fields, is not a formidable task.
China just tested its hypersonic glide vehicle that could potentially fly at 4,000 miles per hour. Hypersonics will change a lot about fighting wars — but when?

  • * Note: I believe, only the writer on the technical staff of a large, trustworthy news agency would dare to pen his/her name on news involving difficult technical understanding like this one. I checked around for hours and found only ONE article from  Aviation Week with some technical analysis, and that was almost 1.5 year ago when the WU-14 had been reported to finish its first trial in January 2014, not on this 4th trial.
    I think, no technical writer has written anything on this 4th trial on June 7th, 2015, at least not yet, because:

    1. They don’t know what to believe, even with whether the 4th trial of WU-14 has been carried out, where, how and the outcome
    2. They do not fully understand how the HGV reacts with all the conditions, surroundings, forces, changes that may effect the result
    3. They do not have any reliable data


    In the view of the U.S. Navy, the Mach 10 test of a...

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