Reaction Engines is an aerospace manufacturing based in U.K. which has goals to revolutionaries the aerospace industry.
What's the Innovation?
They have achieved a breakthrough in aerospace engine technology by developing ultra-lightweight heat exchangers. These are capable of cooling airstreams from over 1,000°C to -150°C in less than 1/20th of a second with world leading compactness and low weight.
Problem to be Addressed:
Developed for the high speed SABRE engines, the heat exchangers stop engine components from overheating at high flight speeds, opening up a new era of high speed flight. SABRE class engines will enable aircraft to fly over five times the speed of sound in the atmosphere and allow space launch vehicles to be built that will radically improve the affordability and responsiveness of access to space.
Story of Formation:
Reaction Engines was founded in 1989 by Alan Bond (lead engineer on the British Interplanetary Society's Project Daedalus) and Richard Varvill and John Scott-Scott (the two principal Rolls-Royce engineers from the RB545 engine project). The company conducts research into space propulsion systems, centred on the development of the Skylon re-usable SSTO spaceplane. The three founders worked together on the HOTOL project, funding for which was withdrawn in 1988, largely due to significant technical obstacles. In 2015 BAE agreed to buy a 20% stake in the company as part of an agreement to help develop Reaction's Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE) hypersonic engine designed to propel the Skylon orbiter. In April 2018, Boeing announced its investment in Reaction Engines, through Boeing HorizonX Ventures with a $37.3 million Series B funding alongside Rolls-Royce Plc and BAE Systems.
Goal and Mission:
Their goal is to deliver a truly versatile propulsion system - a hybrid air-breathing rocket engine that can power an aircraft from a standing start to over five times the speed of sound for hypersonic flight in the atmosphere, and over 25 times the speed of sound for space access. With its wide range of operation and scalability, the Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE) represents a defining moment in powered flight.