Reaction Engines Targets 2020 to Test Hypersonic Engine for Space Planes

In 2018, Reaction Engines has been building two test facilities which they will use to validate the performance of key parts of the SABRE™ spaceplane hypersonic engine.

In the US test facility (TF2) will enable the precooler test article (HTX) to be exposed to high-temperature airflow conditions in excess of 1,000°C (~1800°F) that are expected during high-speed flights up to Mach 5.

They are getting ready for ‘hot’ heat exchanger tests.

The UK TF1 test site is due to be completed and commissioned during 2019 and will enable us to test critical subsystems along with the testing of a SABRE engine core.

Pre-cooler technology

Reaction Engines pre-coolers are made from thousands of thin-walled tubes to provide high surface area to low weight. Each tube is joined to an inlet and outlet manifold, which allows coolant to be injected and removed for the cooling process. They have unique heat exchanger manufacturing experience to bond thousands of joints in a single operation and achieve zero leakage. The joints in their pre-cooler modules are hermetically sealed, meaning that the gas which escapes can be measured by the molecule.

The pre-cooler can be used with current high-performance jet engines to extend the operational envelope of the engine, allowing faster speeds to be achieved as well as assisting in the thermal management of the engine, and may also enable more efficient next-generation civil aero engines.

SABRE – Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine will be a new class of engine for propelling both high-speed aircraft and spacecraft. SABRE engines are unique in delivering the fuel efficiency of a jet engine with the power and high-speed ability of a rocket.

Unlike jet engines, which are only capable of powering a vehicle up to Mach 3, three times the speed of sound, SABRE engines are capable of Mach 5.4 in air-breathing mode, and Mach 25 in rocket mode for space flight.