Reaction Engines Limited (‘Reaction Engines’) today announced that it has raised a further £26.5 million in a strategic fundraising by securing backing from some of the most influential names in aerospace and finance which will support its development of
SABRETM – a revolutionary new class of aerospace engine combining jet and rocket technologies.
New strategic investors are Boeing HorizonX Ventures, the investment arm of Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defence, space and security systems; and Rolls-Royce, a pre-eminent engineering company focused on world class power and propulsion systems whose experience and capability in building complex engine systems is well known.
These new investors are in addition to BAE Systems, a global defence, aerospace and security company, which invested £20.6 million in Reaction Engines in 2015 and is providing further investment in this round, building on existing collaboration to provide expertise in engineering and programmes.
Financial investments in Reaction Engines will also be made by Baillie Gifford Asset Management and Woodford Investment Management.
The Company anticipates further investment interest in this funding round from existing shareholders and other financial institutions. All investments will take the form of a subscription for new shares, which is subject to the approval of existing shareholders.
Mark Thomas, Chief Executive of Reaction Engines said:
“This is a significant milestone for Reaction Engines and I am delighted to welcome our new strategic and financial shareholders. In addition to providing our largest round of private investment, these new partners bring invaluable expertise in both hypersonics and engine technologies with significant access to target markets. This is not only a vote of confidence in our technology but also underlines belief in our ability to develop a thriving commercial business which will provide strong financial returns for our shareholders.”
Steve Nordlund, Vice President of Boeing HorizonX said:
“We continue to connect capabilities around the globe with our investment in Reaction Engines, which is our first in a UK-based company. As Reaction Engines unlocks advanced propulsion that could change the future of air and space travel, we expect to leverage their revolutionary technology to support Boeing’s pursuit of hypersonic flight.”
Paul Stein, Chief Technology Officer of Rolls-Royce said:
“We are delighted to become a strategic investor in Reaction Engines Limited, an innovative UK company that is helping push the boundaries of aviation technology. We look forward to working with REL and assisting with the development of their technology, and we plan to incorporate this technology into our own future products.”
Sam Gyimah, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, said:
“These investments are a real vote of confidence in Reaction Engines and its revolutionary SABRE engine, which has benefited from £60m in UK Government support. Boeing and Rolls-Royce will bring world-class expertise to the project ahead of its testing at Westcott, alongside the new National Space Propulsion Facility.
“This is an exciting time as the UK’s commercial space industry goes from strength to strength, boosting the economy and creating high-skilled jobs across the country. Through our ambitious Industrial Strategy, we are working with the sector to pursue new opportunities, develop technologies and infrastructure, and enable small satellite launch and sub-orbital flight from UK spaceports for the first time.”
The investments agreed to date take the total raised by Reaction Engines in the last three years to over £100 million, including British Government funding commitments, and will support key elements of the company’s SABRE development programme, which has the objective of commencing ground-based testing of a SABRE engine core in 2020.
Reaction Engines has recently achieved a number of milestones for the development of SABRE, and is on track for the test of the engine core in 2020. It is currently constructing a new facility in Westcott, Buckinghamshire, UK for SABRE testing.
The fundraising will also allow Reaction Engines to accelerate its commercialization plans, with proprietary technology opportunities in motorsport, electric vehicle thermal management, waste heat recuperation, small satellite cooling and aero-engines.
The Company has continued to grow its presence in the United States and recently secured a contract from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to conduct high-temperature airflow testing of a Reaction Engines precooler heat exchanger. These tests will demonstrate the Company’s world-leading heat exchanger technology, contributing to a rapid leap forward in precooled propulsion, for both jet and combined cycle engines, as well as opening exciting possibilities for novel vehicle thermal management solutions.
Boeing [NYSE: BA] announced its investment in Reaction Engines Limited, a leader in advanced propulsion systems based in Oxfordshire, United Kingdom. Reaction Engines’ technology will contribute to the next generation of hypersonic flight and space access vehicles.
Reaction Engines is known for its Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE), a hybrid engine blending jet and rocket technology that is capable of Mach 5 in air-breathing mode and Mach 25 in rocket mode for space flight. As part of the SABRE program, Reaction Engines developed an ultra-lightweight heat exchanger that stops engine components from overheating at high speeds, thus improving access to hypersonic flight and space.
“As Reaction Engines unlocks advanced propulsion that could change the future of air and space travel, we expect to leverage their revolutionary technology to support Boeing’s pursuit of hypersonic flight,” said Steve Nordlund, vice president of Boeing HorizonX.
Founded by three propulsion engineers in 1989, Reaction Engines produces robust technical designs for advanced heat exchangers, air-breathing engines, and the vehicles they could power. These capabilities may lead to high-speed point-to-point transport that is cost-effective and sustainable.
“Boeing is a world-leader in many fields, bringing invaluable expertise in hypersonic research and space systems. I am thrilled and honored that Boeing HorizonX has chosen Reaction Engines as its first UK investment,” said Mark Thomas, CEO of Reaction Engines. “This is a very exciting step that will contribute to our efforts to develop a commercial technology business and accelerate opportunities to further the future of air and space travel through SABRE technology.”
Boeing HorizonX Ventures participated in this $37.3 million Series B funding round alongside Rolls-Royce Plc and BAE Systems. The Boeing HorizonX Ventures investment portfolio is made up of companies specializing in technologies for aerospace and manufacturing innovations, including autonomous systems, energy storage, advanced materials, augmented reality systems and software, machine learning, hybrid-electric propulsion and Internet of Things connectivity.
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