Reaction Engines Tests Hypersonic Air-Breather Rocket

By Guy Norris
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology
November 26, 2012
Guy Norris Los Angeles

Seeing is believing, as the saying goes. That’s certainly what Reaction Engines hopes as it moves deeper into advanced tests of a novel pre-cooler that it believes could revolutionize air-breathing access to space.

Designed to chill engine inlet air by more than 1,150C (2,100F) in less than one hundredth of a second, the pre-cooler is one of the key enabling technologies at the heart of the Sabre (synergetic air-breathing rocket engine). The hybrid propulsion system is designed for either atmospheric transport at speeds around Mach 5 or as the air-breathing element of a single-stage-to-orbit spaceplane dubbed Skylon.

Having fought for credibility for more than two decades, the small U.K.-based team behind the development of Skylon and its combined-cycle rocket engine are seeing growing interest in the technology, as crucial tests of the pre-cooler element continue at its site near Oxford, England.

Read more: Reaction Engines Tests Hypersonic Air-Breather Rocket — Aviation Week & Space Technology.

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