|dethalternate||Date: Tuesday, 04-December-2012, 2:02 AM | Message # 1|
-- dragon lord--
|(Reuters) - A small British company with a dream of building a re-usable space plane has won an important endorsement from the European Space Agency (ESA) after completing key tests on its novel engine technology. |
"We are not going to tell you how this works," said the company's chief designer Richard Varvill, who started his career at the military engine division of Rolls-Royce. "It is our most closely guarded secret."
The company has deliberately avoided filing patents on its heat exchanger technology to avoid details of how it works - particularly the method for preventing the build-up of frost - becoming public.
The Sabre engine could take a plane to five times the speed of sound and an altitude of 25 km, about 20 percent of the speed and altitude needed to reach orbit. For space access, the engines would then switch to rocket mode to do the remaining 80 percent.
Reaction Engines believes Sabre is the only engine of its kind in development and the company now needs to raise about 250 million pounds ($400 million) to fund the next three-year development phase in which it plans to build a small-scale version of the complete engine.
Read more/Full article/source - http://uk.reuters.com/article....0121128