London-Sydney in 4 hours: it will be possible in 2030 thanks to SABRE
Added on Wed November 6th, 2019
Flight times London-Sydney could be 80% shorter by the 2030s thanks to a hypersonic rocket engine called SABRE (Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine).
The UK Space Agency invested in the Reaction Engine project. The Reaction Engine is a British company that it is working on a hypersonic space plane. This aircraft is five times faster than the speed of sound. This means that the engine can propel an aircraft at a top speed of around 4,143 miles per hour.
In April, Reaction Engines tested the precooler, simulating conditions over three times the speed of sound. This is over 50% faster than the Concorde’s cruising speed, which takes 3.5 hours to commute between New York and Paris. The precooler test was conducted at a testing facility at the Colorado Air and Space Port in the US.
At high speeds, air flowing via the engine can reach high temperatures and potentially cause damage. In such situations, a precooler reduces the temperature of gases before the same enters the core engine. It has been proven that the component can cool gases from 1000-degree Celsius to less than 1/20th of a second.
The SABRE engine is designed to reach high speeds in the Earth’s atmosphere and turn into a rocket to fly across space. It can breathe air from the atmosphere enabling greater fuel efficiency as well as lower weight than existing rocket engines that have to carry their own oxygen supply.
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