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Skylon spaceplane engine test

by Ryan_m_b
Tags: engine, skylon, spaceplane, test
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Apr27-12, 09:15 AM
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Today sees a key test in the development of the SABRE engine for the Skylon Spaceplane project:

What do members think of the prospect of this project? Seems to me that like all promising space ideas it would be great if it could get the funding; I can't see the UK government, ESA or private companies really going for it
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Apr27-12, 12:04 PM
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I'm dubious, but hopeful. I'm dubious because so much money (so very, very much!) has been spent on SSTO (single stage to orbit) with nothing to show for it. I'm hopeful because this project has what appears to be some interesting solutions to get around some of the obstacles that have been the end of prior SSTO efforts. At least on paper.
Apr27-12, 03:06 PM
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Quote Quote by D H View Post
I'm dubious, but hopeful.
Same here, for the same reasons. Even if this test works they will need huge resources to get this to a practical reliable design. The 250m they want to raise for "the next phase of development" won't last long.

But the lead engineers have been in this game for more than 25 years already (since the days of HOTOL - UK government funding withdrawn in 1988), so they should know what they are up against by now.

Apr27-12, 05:07 PM
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Skylon spaceplane engine test

They do seem to have good ideas but I'm struggling to see who would fund it. They project that they need 7 billion, I just don't see where they're going to get that from. ESA's annual budget is half that so I can't see them giving the necessary sizeable chunk for multiple years, the British Space Agency is an arm of the government tasked with growing the (fairly profitable) British space industry but it's budget seems to be measured in the 10s-100s of millions and the government has been pushing it's austerity budget since the crash and has far too much to loose if it suddenly started funding big projects to the tune of billions when it has spent years cutting public services.

Does anyone know of any private space ventures that have attracted billions in investment? As Aleph says the Reaction Engines guys know what they're up against so hopefully if there's a chance they can make a good business case.
May11-12, 08:27 PM
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Reaction engines are probably getting a reasonable ammount of their funding from other engine manufacturers I would imagine. A nice side effect of sabre development is low temperature strong frost resistant heat exchangers, which are perfect for increasing the effeciency of say, a turbojet engine. Much like their current tests are infact doing.
Nov29-12, 08:34 PM
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Update: British company claims biggest engine advance since the jet

Reaction Engines Ltd believes its Sabre engine, which would operate like a jet engine in the atmosphere and a rocket in space, could displace rockets for space access and transform air travel by bringing any destination on Earth to no more than four hours away.

That ambition was given a boost on Wednesday by ESA, which has acted as an independent auditor on the Sabre test program.
. . . .
The space plane, dubbed Skylon, only exists on paper. What the company has right now is a remarkable heat exchanger that is able to cool air sucked into the engine at high speed from 1,000 degrees Celsius to minus 150 degrees in one hundredth of a second.

This core piece of technology solves one of the constraints that limit jet engines to a top speed of about 2.5 times the speed of sound, which Reaction Engines believes it could double.
. . . .

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