BAE Invests in Space Engine Firm Reaction Engines (Gordon Docherty)

The following post was submitted by Gordon Docherty

From BBC news here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-34694935

BAE Systems [British defence, security and aerospace company] has bought a 20% stake in a company developing a radical engine that could propel aircraft into space.

BAE is paying £20.6m for the stake in Reaction Engines, which is developing a hybrid rocket/jet engine called SABRE.

Reaction says the technology would allow the launch of satellites into space at a fraction of the current cost and allow passengers to fly anywhere in the world in four hours.

Now, for the rocket phase, RE are going to need lots of hydrogen and oxygen. This, of course, as with all rocket fuels, leads to the question of how to store the hydrogen and oxygen in a safer form. Well, what could be safer than water?

Using water, H2O molecules could be split using LENR to H2 and O and recombined in the rocket engine (or, maybe LENR can provide thrust direct?), while the “unused” water is still available for drinking, washing, feeding plants – with some refueling possible by just scooping the water when in the atmosphere in-flight…

Just one more way in which LENR can fit into the bigger picture to create a market that does not currently exist.

Good for the planet. Good for the economy. Good for humanity. Good for safety.

I’d rather sit on top of 18,000 – 180,000 litres of water being pumped round an aircraft than 180,000 litres of kerosene… and, of course, if you are “burning” water to make water (assuming LENR used to split water molecules to form a rocket-jet exhaust), questions of pollution just “fly out the window” 🙂

Press release from Reaction Engines here: http://www.reactionengines.co.uk/news_02nov2015_rel_bae_3141.html

Gordon Docherty

  • At last!
    The steam powered rocket engine.
    Water is effective and safe way to carry fuel.
    All that is required is sufficient energy to crack it.
    Also water being denser than hydrogen means more thrust.
    ( By that I am assuming a proportion of the exhaust is actual steam)
    The water could be pre-heated before take of to just under boiling point
    and that would assist the energy receipt.

  • ecatworld

    On a related topic, here’s a different plane –This is a concept plane only at this point:

    This new jet concept could take you from London to New York in 30 minutes

    http://www.sciencealert.com/the-new-scramjet-concept-could-take-you-from-london-to-new-york-in-30-minutes

    “As most science lovers will know, scramjet systems work by combusting liquid using oxygen taken from the atmosphere passing through the aircraft. This means that, unlike traditional propulsion systems, the craft doesn’t need to carry any liquid oxygen, so the whole thing becomes a lot lighter, and therefore faster.
    But in order to work properly and compress the incoming oxygen without the need for moving parts, scramjets need to be travelling faster than the speed of sound, at around Mach 4, which is something that no passenger plane has ever achieved – Concorde maxed out at Mach 2.04.”

  • HS61AF91

    I read that some ancient group (Annanuki?) used water to fly through space, and that this was etched into some real old Sumerian tablets. Now THAT would really be History repeating itself.