Kristine Lofgren

China's Supersonic Submarine Could Travel from Shanghai to San Francisco in Two Hours

by , 08/26/14
filed under: Green Transportation, News

Supercavitation, Supercavitation submarine, Supercavitation torpedo, Supercavitation technology, high speed submarine, high speed water travel, high speed travel, submarine technology, speed of sound travel, speed of sound submarine, travel technology, water travel technology, water travel, high speed water travel, travel technology

Shanghai to San Francisco in two hours flat? It’s possible, according to the Harbin Institute of Technology, which is developing a supersonic submarine capable of traveling at a blistering 3600 mph. Using developments in supercavitation technology, the institute has made it possible for submarines (or torpedoes) to travel faster than the speed of sound.

Supercavitation, Supercavitation submarine, Supercavitation torpedo, Supercavitation technology, high speed submarine, high speed water travel, high speed travel, submarine technology, speed of sound travel, speed of sound submarine, travel technology, water travel technology, water travel, high speed water travel, travel technology

Water creates friction that airplanes don’t have to deal with, so water vehicles haven’t been able to move as quickly as aircraft. But during the Cold War, the Soviet Union developed a technology that envelopes a submarine in an air bubble to help prevent friction. But until now, limitations have prevented the technology from being used for anything except unmanned vehicles like torpedoes.

Related: Vertical Hyper-Speed Train Hub Literally Flips High Speed Rail on its Head

Chinese scientists have figured out a way around these limitations, and though the technology isn’t quite ready to go yet, it could mean insanely fast travel sometime in the future. It could also mean good news for swimmers, because the same technology could theoretically be used to reduce drag from swimsuits. On the other hand, it could also mean that underwater missiles could be a whole heck of a lot faster, too.

Via Gizmodo and SCMP

Lead image via Shutterstock, image via Hindawi

Related Posts

LEAVE A COMMENT

or your inhabitat account below

Let's make sure you're a real person:


6 Comments

  1. ecohistorical September 1, 2014 at 11:40 am

    While this is unlikely, there is a huge difference between flying and traveling under water. In a lab, water is just a uniform liquid. In the ocean, water is densely populated with everything from microorganisms to fish, coral, and whales. The destruction that would be wrought by a large supersonic vehicle would be incalculable.

  2. Dzulkifly Yusof August 27, 2014 at 4:16 am

    Far out! This serious technology! The region will be in danger of Chinas threat and also globally. What I am afraid of is that as the saying goes here in my country at least “there is nothing straight about a Chinaman except his hair.!” Get the drift?

  3. he August 26, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    This tech is for unmanned things only.
    Supersonic aircraft fly above obstacles, a supercavitating sub could slam into a whale, killing all on board.

  4. Relentless1 August 26, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    Nice post, this is my first time hear, but I signed up for your newsletter.

    That technology is absolutely awesome, and a bit unbelievable for being in water.

    I hope you have some follow up posts on that same technology. That would be interesting.

    Thanks again,
    http://best2014weightloss.com

  5. Hairy Ballzer August 26, 2014 at 9:27 am

    This is really a bunch of nonsense not based on any facts

    1. Super-cavitation technology was not intended for use on an entire submarine it was for torpedoes- HUGE DIFFERENCE
    Example

    Two known torpedo designs using this type of technology

    • In 1960, the USSR started developing a project under the codename “Шквал” (Squall) run by NII-24 (Kiev) to develop a high-speed torpedo, an underwater rocket, four to five times faster than traditional torpedoes capable of combating enemy submarines. Several models of the device were made, the most successful – M-5 – was created by 1972. In 1972 to 1977, over 300 test launches were made (95% of them on Issyk Kul lake), by 29 November 1972 VA-111 Shkval was put into service with mass production started in 1978.

    • In 2004, German weapons manufacturer Diehl BGT Defence announced their own supercavitating torpedo, Barracuda, now officially named “Superkavitierender Unterwasserlaufkörper” or “supercavitating underwater running body” (English translation). According to Diehl, it reaches more than 400 kilometres per hour (250 mph).[6]

    2. The Chinese often publish garbage research papers making all kinds of claims, particularly in regards to defense technology. Did you bother to verify any of this?

    3. MPH is meaningless underwater, Ships, Submarines and Torpedo speed is designated by knots- example

    • “Launched from 533 mm torpedo tubes, the VA-111 exits the tube at 50 knots (93 km/h). Shortly afterwards, its liquid-fuel rocket ignites and propels it to speeds of up to 200 knots (370 km/h). Some reports indicate that speeds of 250+ knots may be achieved, and that work on a 300-knot (560 km/h) version was underway”

    • 3600 MPH converted to KM/h would be 5793.638 KPH or that would be 3128.3142549 knots. There is nothing on this planet that can travel that fast on or under the water

  6. GrenadeTrade August 26, 2014 at 8:52 am

    Umm… 3600 MPH is like Mach 5. Almost 5 times the speed of sound. You sure you got that figure right?

  • Read Inhabitat

  • Search Categories

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Browse by Keyword

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home