"Reaction Engines", a company that enables aircraft to fly to the back of the Earth at 5 times the speed of sound
It will be about 5 times that of normal aircraftMach 5The development of aircraft engines that are flying at an altitude of 10,000 meters per hour (about 5000 km / h) is showing signs of acceleration. British aircraft engine development company "Reaction EnginesHas been pursuing the development of the next generation aircraft engine for over 20 years, but with the backup from major aerospace companies and governments, it is trying to take a big step toward realization of an unprecedented engine I will.
British technology company to 'transform' air and space travel with pioneering new engine design - Telegraph
On November 3, 2015, Britain's leading aviation defense company ·BAE SystemsIs a company that develops next generation aircraft rocket engine "SABER"Reaction EnginesWe acquired about 20% of the shares of about 20 million pounds (about 3.7 billion yen)It was reported. It is an exceptional event that BAE of the size that surpasses the aerospace enterprises such as Boeing and Lockheed to participate in Reaction Engines, which is a development company with 75 employees, is an unprecedented event, but it is an unprecedented event For Reaction Engines aiming at realization, it can be said that it was a very significant meaning by having BAE's technology and know-how.
The rocket engine "SABRE" developed by Reaction Engines has unprecedented ability to handle all speed ranges with a single engine from takeoff on the ground to supersonic flight of Mach 5.5 engine. Furthermore, in space, by using liquid oxygen like the space rocket, it becomes possible to fly at the extremely fast speed of Mach 25.
The cross section of SABRE looks something like this. It does not have a rotating turbine like a jet engine and a shaft, and air taken from the tip of the lightly curved body (right in the figure) is burned with a rocket engine at the rear end (left in the figure) to generate thrust It is becoming. The biggest feature of such a SABER engine is that "Pre-coolerIt is a mechanism to cool the air, which is called.
In the supersonic state, the air taken into the engine is compressed and it gets extremely hot, so the combustion efficiency of the fuel drops and the required output can not be obtained sufficiently. Therefore, the SABRE engine is designed to ensure enough thrust in the supersonic range by lowering the temperature by passing a part of the air taken in through the pre-cooler.
Inside the pre-cooler, numerous thin pipes through which liquid helium passes are designed and designed to effectively absorb the heat in the air. High temperature air compressed under supersonic conditions and heated up to over 1000 degrees is passed through between pipes through which liquid helium passes0.01 secondIt will be chilled to minus 150 degrees in a moment. By doing this, it increases the density of oxygen contained in the air to a high level, enabling high efficiency combustion required for supersonic flight.
With this SABER engine, the aircraft that we can reach the back side of the earth in 4 hoursSKYLON"Test flight is scheduled for 2019. Details of SKYLON and how the SABRE engine at the experiment stage actually moves can also be confirmed in the following article.
The aircraft "SKYLON" test that can arrive in the back of the earth in 4 hours will be implemented in 2019 - GIGAZINE
For over 20 years, Reaction Engines has been engaged in developing SABRE engines. While flying inside the Earth's atmosphere, it generates thrust by burning air and hydrogen fuel, but it reaches the boundary between the Earth's atmosphere and the outer space when the speed reaches Mach 5.5. Then, the SABRE engine has changed to "jet engine mode", it is designed to mix hydrogen fuel and liquid oxygen and move to the state where it flies just like rocket.
As an engine with a similar mechanismRamjet engineIt is known. The ramjet engine has a mechanism to capture propulsion by burning by injecting the air which is compressed and high temperature when it fly at high speed and injecting fuel there.
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Although it is a ramjet engine with the same mechanism as the SABRE engine, certain conditions are required to operate properly. Because it is necessary to take in air at high speed and high pressure, the ramjet engineOperation itself is impossible in the stationary state. Therefore, when using a ramjet engine, it is necessary to provide a separate jet engine to accelerate the aircraft to Mach 3 or so. further,When Mach exceeds 5 combustion efficiency deterioratesThe limit exists.
Overcoming such a problem, it is the SABRE engine that has the possibility to cover an extremely wide speed range from a stopped state to a Mach 25 with only one type of engine. Founded in 1989, Reaction Engines, which has been promoting the development of new engines, has been developing with a limited budget so far. Today, in addition to 20 million pounds (about 3.7 billion yen) from BAE, we also have a promised funding of 60 million pounds (about 11 billion yen) from government-affiliated financial institutions, It is said that it will cost 100 million pounds (about 18.5 billion yen).
Mark Thomas, managing director of Reaction Engines, said, "I spent five months talking to BAE and what we were seeking was a huge aerospace company, what we needed was It is the ability of system integration to collect all projects at once, "he says about the aim of partnership with BAE. As mentioned above, the mechanism of SABRE engine can be said to be a combination of jet engine and rocket engine, and it is necessary to operate complicated mechanism perfectly as one system. Mr. Thomas said, "When considering an organization with such capabilities, BAE has always been a prime candidate."
Prior to joining Reaction Engines, Mr. Thomas is a chief engineer at Rolls - Royce Corporation, an aircraft engine manufacturer,Euro Fighter TyphoonAnd was engaged in developing the engine of Airbus A 380 aircraft. About Thabas SABRE engineThe next big thing(The next big thing), "We are now at the start position of exciting flow, we are at the beginning stage that enormous big things are about to begin."
About the advantages of SABER engine Mr. Thomas says "It is scalable (it can change its size according to circumstances)". The company has already started research on engines that can be mounted on the aircraft of the Boeing 787 aircraft class of 300 passengers level. Speaking about civil space development, I always say that "I am paying great respect, not a competitor," as to the relationship with SpaceX's CEO Earlon Mask. Meanwhile, "SABRE engine is unique and unique engine, so I'm confident that Mr. Mask will come and talk to us for our engine in the future".
It is said that it takes about 15 years from the next ten years to realize the aircraft equipped with the SABRE engine. It is a supersonic aircraft based on a supersonic aircraft that seemed to have been one of the times as a result of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, but it seems that interest will gather whether it will be steered toward realization again.