Developer engine SABRE British company Reaction Engines announced the successful completion of ground tests the device pre-cooling air supplied to the SABRE - very "thin place" design, a critical component of the overall system.
Recall: it SABRE, hypersonic air-breathing combined / rocket engine with pre-cooled, should drive the over-ambitious kosmolёt Skylon, which we have repeatedly written.
The complexity of the pattern prior bypass cooling air supplied to the engine, is that the two-stage system "helium gas - liquid nitrogen" would lower the temperature of the intake air from 1000 to -140 ˚C ˚C for 0, 01, p. Without such a cooling turbo engine can not provide the most unusually high compression ratio, which alone can enable GVRD Skylon get the power required to fly at speeds up to M5, 5.
Naturally, the successful testing of the critical elements have attracted widespread attention. Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts UK yesterday, during a visit to an air show in Farnborough, even dedicated this little speech: "The engine, developed by Reaction Engines, the potential to change the rules of the game in the space industry. Successful trials [dual system of pre-cooling] confirm the high assessment of the concept of the engine, made by UK Space Agency in 2010 ... If one day we will be able to use this technology for our own commercial space flight, it will be an achievement fantastic scale ».
And the minister is not exaggerating: Skylon developers say that the withdrawal of kilograms of cargo into orbit will cost about $ 1 000. If all the work, then we will talk about the "fantastic achievement" is not only and not so much the British aerospace industry, as all mankind.
Mr Willetts also sensibly noted: the likelihood that the European Space Agency will undertake the financing of Skylon, small, so that the UK will have to be prepared to a large extent on the means to build kosmolёt.
However SABRE engine and of itself, is a project Skylon, is of considerable interest: if at least be able to carry it, hopefully, taken up by the development of the British engine builders, especially since hypersonic SABRE originally planned as the engine is not only space, but also atmospheric applications .