Reaction Engines UK will have new tests of their Skylon Single stage to orbit Spaceplane engine prototype
Reaction Engines have begun their latest round of testing. The SABRE engine has a novel design of the rocket engine's thrust chamber and nozzle to allow operation in both air-breathing and rocket modes, as well as a smooth transition between them.
The Advanced Nozzle project is demonstrating the feasibility of this concept and represents a significant technology development effort towards the SABRE demonstrator engine.
The test engine, which has been successfully fired 15 times during its initial commissioning phase in spring 2015, incorporates several new technologies including a 3D printed, actively cooled propellant injector system. Aerodynamic data collected from the firings is being used to validate in-house computational modelling and advance the nozzle design.
The test campaign is being operated by Airborne Engineering Ltd in Westcott, Buckinghamshire. Operations are planned to continue throughout 2015, including long duration burns and tests investigating the transition between air- breathing and rocket operation planned for later in the year.
Dr Helen Webber, Reaction Engines' Project Lead for the Advanced Nozzle Programme, commented: "This experimental engine is an important step into a new era of propulsion and space access We are using it to test the aerodynamics and performance of the advanced nozzles that the SABRE engine will use, in addition to new manufacturing technologies such as our 3D-printed injection system
single stage to orbit