Scientists at Reaction Engines have created a new cooling system that can cool air entering airplane engines from 1,000 C to -150 C in a matter of 10 milliseconds. With this new technology planes will be able to reach speeds of over 2,000mph.
Head researcher Alan Bond said: "If you wanted to go to Australia, or anywhere else in the antipodal world in four hours or so, then that would be the best way to go and you would pay [the cost of] a first class or business class flight."
Incorporating this new system, called the Sabre, into passenger aircrafts will require the entire engine to be redesigned so it isn’t likely that all aircrafts will be using the new technology, but it is expected that at least 10% will.
What does this mean for us? This means that our flights could become much, much shorter. A flight to Australia could take just over 4 hours! The new system will also do much to help the commercialization of space travel.
While Reaction Engines describes the invention as "The biggest breakthrough in propulsion technology since the jet engine", their CEO,
Tim Hayter, has very high hopes: "This means that we can build a hybrid air-breathing rocket engine. What this is going to permit orbital and high-speed propulsion."
Paul Hudson | Elite.