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Travelling at the edge of space - 10 March 2010

An extract from the seminar Travelling at the edge of space by Alan Bond.


Alan Bond, Managing Director of Reaction Engines Limited delivers the first James Weir Lecture, titled "Travelling at the edge of space: Reaction Engines and Skylon in the next 20 years".


The use of liquid hydrogen to cool the air entering a high speed aircraft engine has been in the literature for fifty years, but was not developed because of the high fuel flow required. In the early 1980s it was found that if the fuel was not used simply as coolant, but as the heat sink for the engine driving the intake compressor while using the hot stagnated air as its heat source, the fuel consumption was greatly reduced. Reaction Engines has been evolving these engines for over 20 years resulting in designs for the SKYLON spaceplane, and engines suitable for Mach 5 civil airliners. The next twenty years should see the pre-cooled engine transform access to space and flight to the antipodes. This talk describes Reaction Engines R&D programme and its ambitions for the future.

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