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Rolls-Royce and Boeing invest in Reaction Engines

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Reaction Engines Limited (REL), the UK based company developing a revolutionary aerospace engine, has announced investments from both Boeing and Rolls-Royce.
The new investment amounts to £26.5 million and is part of a strategic fundraising by Reaction Engines which will support the further development of the SABRE concept, which combines air breathing rocket and associated technologies.

It lifts the total capital raised so far to over £100 million, including the £60m contributed by the British government. BAE Systems initially injected £20m in 2015 and has invested new funds in this latest financial round.

“Rolls-Royce and Boeing - these are really big names, and it's fantastic to be in this position," said REL CEO Mark Thomas.

SABRE - Synergetic Air Breathing Rocket Engine - is a new class of engine for propelling both high speed aircraft and spacecraft.
(Reaction Engines)

The SABRE (Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine) is a new class of engine for propelling both high speed aircraft and spacecraft. SABRE engines are unique in delivering the fuel efficiency of a jet engine with the power and high-speed ability of a rocket.

SABRE engines are capable of Mach 5.4 in air-breathing mode, and Mach 25 in rocket mode for space flight. 

Like jet engines, SABRE can be scaled in size to provide difference levels of thrust for different applications which is crucial to their success – it could enable a whole generation of air and space vehicles.

There are three core building blocks to the SABRE engine, the pre-cooler, the engine core and the thrust chamber. Each of these systems can be developed and validated using ground based demonstrations which saves cost and time relative to flight test, a design feature that benefited the development of the propeller and jet engine. 

Paul Stein, Chief Technology Officer, Rolls-Royce said: “We are delighted to become a strategic investor in Reaction Engines Limited, an innovative UK company that is helping push the boundaries of aviation technology.”

“We look forward to working with Reaction Engines and assisting with the development of their technology, and we plan to incorporate this technology into future products.”

Reaction engines new test facility at Westcott.

(Reaction Engines)

Reaction Engines has recently achieved a number of milestones for the development of SABRE, and is on track for the test of the engine core in 2020. It is currently constructing a new facility in Westcott, Buckinghamshire, UK for SABRE testing.

The fundraising will also allow Reaction Engines to accelerate its commercialisation plans, with proprietary technology opportunities in motorsport, electric vehicle thermal management, waste heat recuperation, small satellite cooling and aero-engines.

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Tags: Engineering
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