There is an airplane engine being developed that will allow planes to be able to travel from Europe to Australia in four hours, and can be launched into space!
British aerospace company Reaction Engines Limited is working on a truly impressive and innovative machine. They’re building an engine that can get you anywhere in the world in about 4-5 hours at longest.
And that’s in a passenger plane with 300 people on board. To do this, it will hit speeds five times faster than the speed of sound!
What’s even more impressive is the non-consumer applications of this engine. When completed, this engine will be able to actually gain enough speed in the air to just launch itself into space whenever it wants.
This will prove invaluable for space agencies that need a quick fix on one of their multi-million dollar machines floating above our heads.
They can achieve this with what’s mostly an engine we would use today. They just add a little step at the beginning of the process called precooling to help make it more efficient. Before the air rushes into the engine, they rapidly cool it to very low temperatures. This allows the engine to run at higher power, and higher power means higher speed.
Just because they aren’t changing too much doesn’t mean it’s not a hard thing to do. They are currently the only company working on anything like this, and it has taken years to develop a technology that can cool air with the speed required.
It’s thought that their engine will cool air by more than a thousand degrees Celsius in a hundredth (.01) of a second.