Wow. “The essential innovations include a compact pre-cooler heat-exchanger that can take an incoming airstream in the region of 1,000C and cool it to -150C in less than 1/100th of a second.”
The UK project to develop a hypersonic engine that could take a plane from London to Sydney in about four hours is set for a key demonstration.
The Sabre engine is part jet, part rocket, and relies on a novel pre-cooler heat-exchanger technology.
SABRE stands for Synergetic Air Breathing Rocket Engine. Having a vehicle that can fly in the atmosphere or into outer space will add nother tool into our arsenal. It could drive the Skylon space plane.
The atmosphere will get the plane up to Mach 5 and a height of about 30 km. The rocket engine could then be lit and the plane reach escape velocity. Because of this, it has a very high payload to take-off mass ratio.
The Skylon is projected to carry 17 tonnes (38,000 pounds) to low Earth orbit,. For comparison, the Space-X Falcon 9 Full Thrust can get 23 tonnes or 50,000 pounds. The intial verion of thr Falcon 9, though, could only get 10 tonnes to space.
And this is also reusable, lowering costs, with projected turnaround times of 2 days. And, instead of owning all the vehicles, it will operate more as an airplane manufacturer, selling the vehicles ot others.
We shall see. This is all dependent the engine working. So still have a ways to go.
Image: Reaction Engines