Sunday, 8 November 2015

Hypersonic Rocket Engine Could 'Revolutionize' Air Travel


Breakthrough Aerospace Engine Technology – Revolutionize Air Travel

BAE Systems, British aerospace giant, is staking big on hypersonic travel, something which its prospective new partner states could be a reality in two decades. BAE has plans of investing around £20.6 million in a 20% stake of a UK based engineering firm, Reaction Engines which has invented a breakthrough aerospace engine technology that could probably be utilised for a new generation of reusable space vehicle as well as a commercial offshoot that could revolutionize air travel.

BAE’s website states that the partnership would enable alliance on SABRE technology of Reaction Engines, a new aerospace engine class which tends to combine jet as well as rocket technologies with the capabilities of transforming hypersonic flight and the economics of space access.

Together with hypersonic air travel, Reaction Engines’ managing director, Mark Thomas informed CNN’s Richard Quest that reusable space plane which takes off like an aircrafts is said to be one of the concepts which would be made available by this engine. SABRE – Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine, is an air-breathing engine that tends to use ultra-lightweight heat exchangers in order to cool off very hot air streams like those faced at hypersonic speeds

Technology Empowers Aircraft

According to Reaction Engines conveyed in a press release on its website, the technology tends to empower the aircraft to operate at speeds of up to five times the speed of sound or fly directly into Earth orbit, easily. With its capacity to utilise atmospheric oxygen for thrust, the engine’s design denies the need for heavy fuel reserves on boards thereby reducing the weight of a SABRE powered vehicle.

As per BAE’s statement, it says that SABRE can also transition to a rocket mode enabling spaceflight at speed up to orbital velocity or 25 times the speed of sound. The design has been described as an absolutely revolutionary, visionary concept by Thomas.

He has clarified that `SABRE is a rocket engine at heart but can breathe air whenever it is in the atmosphere and hence it is not essential to carry so much liquid oxygen on board the vehicle. It enormously decreases the weight and one can put that in vehicle design capability or payload’.

Advanced Heat Exchanger – Ease Hypersonic Air Temperature

The fundamental aspect of the engine’s design is the company’s advanced heat exchanger that tends to ease hypersonic air temperature by more than a thousand degrees in a hundredth of a second. The company is said to be focusing on enhancing the engine and according to Thomas, BAE would be helping in translating its potential into a range of practical applications.

BAE’s anticipated 20% investment is awaiting the approval of Reaction Engine’s shareholders. Reaction Engines had announced that it would partner with defense multinational BAE System in a working collaboration in order to create its supersonic plane SABRE. BAE had purchased 20% of Reaction Engines offering the strategic investment essential in accelerating the project, a form of jet rocket engine hybrid.

As per Reaction Engines, driving Sabre seems to be a brand new form of aerospace engine that enable the operation of planes from a standstill on the landing strip to speeds that is five times more than the speed of sound in the atmosphere.

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