Manufacturing Minute: A Hybrid Engine Designed For Space Flight

In this episode, a hybrid engine for a reusable hypersonic space plane.

Reaction Engines, a European space plane company based in Oxfordshire, announced exciting news for the aerospace industry earlier this week.

BAE Systems invested £20.6 million (about $31.8 million) for a 20 percent stake of Reaction Engines, specifically for the development of a new hybrid engine called Sabre.

Combining both jet and rocket technologies, the engine would take off from a runway in air-breathing mode. This process includes burning hydrogen fuel with air to combat the high-temperature air entering the engine.

The plane prototype, Skylon, is designed to accelerate to more than five times the speed of sound. The engine will then switch to rocket mode, propelling the plane into orbit so it can release its payloads. At first, the primary use will be for satellites, but eventually can be used to send people and supplies into space.


Will this engine revolutionize the aerospace industry? What other ways could you see this technology be utilized?

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