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tonyh29
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interesting article here , that engineers have found a way of making an engine that breathes in super cooled air .. meaning there is a chance of being able to fly from London to Sydney in around 4 hours

Obviously early days yet and no doubt clearly security will take longer than the flight but sounds pretty amazing if they can pull it off

Would anyone on VT , want to fly at 19,000 mph though ?

British engineers have successfully tested a key component of an engine that could power a spaceplane from London to Sydney in under four hours.

The engineers have hailed it as the biggest breakthrough in aerospace propulsion "since the invention of the jet engine".

Oxfordshire-based Reaction Engines hope to build a rocket plane called Lapcat that would take off from an ordinary runway, reach speeds of around 19,000mph in the upper atmosphere and then land like a normal jet aircraft.

While still in the atmosphere, the plane's Sabre engine would combine on-board hydrogen fuel with oxygen that it "breathes" from the air. But the air needs to be super-cooled for the engine to work.

The company has now demonstrated a lightweight heat exchanger that pre-cools incoming air from 1000 degrees Celsius to minus 150 degrees in 1/100th of a second - six times faster than the blink of an eye - without blocking pipes with a layer of frost.

Alan Bond, who founded the company and led the research, said: "The team has been trying to solve this problem for over 30 years and we've finally done it.

The tests were validated by the European Space Agency.

Science Minister David Willetts MP said: "This is a remarkable achievement for a remarkable company. Building on years of unique engineering know-how, Reaction Engines has shown the world that Britain remains at the forefront of technological innovation and can get ahead in the global race."

The Sabre engine could also power a re-useable rocket plane called Skylon that could carry a large payload into space, reducing the cost of launching a satellite by more than 10 times.

By using available oxygen in the atmosphere it would reduce the amount of fuel it needs to carry, so it could reach orbit in a single stage. Current rockets require costly multiple stages which are jettisoned during their ascent.

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What difference does speed make? If you're on an airliner at 30,000 feet and it goes wrong then you're f***** regardless.

I should imagine there is quite a lot of G-Force involved in flying at 19 ,000 Mph ..and risk at getting up to that speed , true there is risk in current commercial jet but it's by and large a tried and tested means of transport

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Hydrogen, you say?

I'm reminded of a conspiracy theory , which one has to assume wasn't serious , but you can never be too sure

The Hindenburg disaster wasn't caused by a hydrogen explosion or lightning setting fire to the fabric. That much is obvious.

It was actually a controlled demolition of a remote control missile over which a hologram of the Hindenburg was projected.

It was all done by the military-industrial complex to discredit lighter-than-air travel in favour of fixed-wing heavier-than-air airliners.

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Would anyone on VT , want to fly at 19,000 mph though ?

In the grand scheme of things, it wasnt that long ago that it was illegal to drive a train or a car unless you had a man with a red flag walking in front of you. They were scared that going faster than about 20mph would make all your teeth fall out or something but everything turned out to be okay in the end. I suspect it will be the same with this new fangled space plane. You could see the new year in in Sydney, London and New York, and lets face it, who wouldnt want to do that?

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In the grand scheme of things, it wasnt that long ago that it was illegal to drive a train or a car unless you had a man with a red flag walking in front of you. They were scared that going faster than about 20mph would make all your teeth fall out or something but everything turned out to be okay in the end. I suspect it will be the same with this new fangled space plane. You could see the new year in in Sydney, London and New York, and lets face it, who wouldnt want to do that?

Me. I hate new year.

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