The project of a new jet engine SABRE got the “green light”

Development of innovative hybrid hypersonic air-breathing SABRE engine (Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine) from the British company Reaction Engines, who will be able to work effectively in the atmosphere and in the vacuum of space, moved into a new phase. Recently, the company was able to successfully defend the preliminary design of engine in the European and UK space agencies in the UK. As stated on the ESA website, now in the next 18 months will be testing of individual components of a new power plant.

In particular, in the coming months in the newly constructed research centre at the British Buckinghamshire to be held the first tests of the demonstrator of the gas generator of the power plant, operating on ambient air and liquid hydrogen.

Schematic design is one of the first steps in the development of any technology. In this phase, designers determine the possible appearance of technology, the basic functions of technology that can be used to preliminary design solutions.

A feature of the new power plant is to use revolutionary camera pre-cooling, preliminary work on which began over 10 years ago. Pre cooling system uses an array of thin twisted tubes filled with liquid hydrogen. This design allows cooling air flow in the front air intakes from 1000 degrees to -150 degrees Celsius for 1/1000 of a second, after which it falls into the engine. Under normal conditions, this can cause condensation in the air, followed by icing of the engine. The company, however, found a way to avoid this.

Diagram of the hybrid air-breathing SABRE engine

At the start and during acceleration SABRE will operate as a conventional ramjet engine, operating at ambient air and liquid hydrogen. At this point, the air will be supplied to the gasifier by encircling intakes going around the feed system of fuel and oxidant. When reaching speeds of Mach 5 (5966 km/h) the engine will switch to rocket mode, in which the oxidizer will be used liquid oxygen. The duct will overlap. In rocket mode the engine can provide acceleration to 25 Mach numbers.

Artistic performance: the spaceplane on the basis of hybrid air-breathing SABRE engines are fully reusable and much cheaper to operate compared to conventional rockets

Financial support for project development of innovative SABRE engine is carried out by Rolls-Royce and Boeing. Also, your financial contribution to ESA (€10 million) and UK space Agency (€50 million). Earlier it was reported that testing of the fully assembled power plant can take place in the 2020-2021 year.

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