The Sabre Hybrid Rocket Engine at the Skylon space-plane, looking similar to the Concorde, could Revolution Space Travel. It will take off like a conventional airplane, accelerate to Mach 5.2 in order to leave the atmosphere, and then land on the same runway it launched from.
Sabre Reaction Engines of Skylon spacecraft would make short hauls into orbit, come back, and be ready to do it again two days later. Nick Kaloterakis
“We’re looking at a revolution in transportation,” said engineer Alan Bond.
Skylon it’s world’s first ever fully reusable spaceship capable of making regular, cheap, reliable trips to low Earth orbit.
“Skylon is an unpiloted, reusable spaceplane intended to provide reliable, responsive and cost effective access to space. Currently in early development phase, the vehicle will be capable of transporting 15 tonnes of cargo into space. It is the use of SABRE’s combined air-breathing and rocket cycles that enables a vehicle that can take off from a runway, fly direct to earth orbit and return for a runway landing, just like an aircraft.”
The Sabre Engine, how It Works:
“Air traveling at Mach 5 enters the engine and passes through a heat exchanger. There, a network of paper-thin metal tubes filled with liquid helium chill the 2,000F air to –238F almost instantly. That chilled air flows into the turbocompressor, then into the thrust chambers, where it’s mixed with liquid hydrogen and ignited to produce thrust for the spacecraft. Courtesy Reaction Engines co
This advanced combined cycle air-breathing SABRE rocket engine enables aircraft to operate easily at speeds of up to five times the speed of sound or fly directly into Earth orbit.
With the Pre-cooler heat exchanger and other SABRE engine advanced technology development programmes nearing completion, the next stage of the SABRE programme is the construction of a full engine demonstrator.”
“ESA are confident that a ground test of a sub-scale engine can be successfully performed to demonstrate the flight regime and cycle and will be a critical milestone in the development of this program and a major breakthrough in propulsion worldwide.”
source Sabre Reaction Engines