Author Topic: The Reaction Engines Skylon/SABRE Master Thread (6)  (Read 151960 times)

Offline john smith 19

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5885
  • Everyplaceelse
  • Liked: 746
  • Likes Given: 4544
Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (6)
« Reply #40 on: 08/08/2016 04:46 PM »
"Knock-off artists champs"... :o For a nation with such a rich early history of civilization, have these people ever had an original idea in the last  100 years? ::)

Sorry, that's deeply unfair. Really original ideas are exceedingly rare today. If they make it when Europe isn't, who should blame them.

To bring the thread back to SpaceX.  ;) Whenever SpaceX has done something new, someone comes and claims it is not original. Someone has done that before.
Are you sure you're in the right forum?
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.

Offline RanulfC

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4416
  • Heus tu Omnis! Vigilate Hoc!
  • Liked: 770
  • Likes Given: 32
Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (6)
« Reply #41 on: 08/08/2016 08:01 PM »
I sympathize with your frustration, because it is such an a**-backwards business plan. (if accurate) If they have any interest in bringing Skylon to reality, REL needs to LEAD this consortium, not hope that someone else will do it. They need to become the prime contractor.

Because Aerojet, Rocketdyne, GE, Rolls-Royce, and Pratt and Whitney have shown that engine manufacturers always have to be the "prime contractor" and take the LEAD in designing and building the vehicles their engines power... :)

They do have to if they hope to have any input in the design of the vehicle. Imagine SpaceX just building the Merlin 1D, and then only selling it if someone would build a Falcon 9 with it. Or an elevator builder selling blueprints for a skyscraper that someone needs to build for them. THAT is the backward part.

Nobody would bat an eye if REL was selling a neat engine that had its use for an air breathing vehicle. But instead they are trying to sell... Skylon.

But note what YOU said:
"I sympathize with your frustration, because it is such an a**-backwards business plan. (if accurate) If they have any interest in bringing Skylon to reality, REL needs to LEAD this consortium, not hope that someone else will do it. They need to become the prime contractor."

Doesn't seem that way to me as they've always said that Skylon is what they put together to answer questions on capability if fitted with SABRE rather than a "required" design. Further they have admitted, though it's a less than optimum design choice, that a TSTO based on SABRE is possible. The main question isn't about Skylon but about SABRE since it is what the entire concept hinges on.

So no, what you said above and what you said previously have nothing to do with each other as you ORIGINAL complaint was that "engine manufacturer" has to LEAD the design/construction consortium, not provide "input" into the design, on order to bring the design to fruition. You then follow with complaining that the "engine manufacturer" is in fact doing, (but isn't clearly) exactly what you demand they do?

REL is "selling" Skylon simply because as an engine SABRE requires certain design rules to be observed in order to get optimum performance out of the SABRE. I've yet to see anyone, (who isn't advocating SCramjets mind you) who doesn't understand and agree with the high-supersonic/low-hypersonic/orbital flight reasons they have done what they did. So in the end "Skylon" is the main design because at this point it answers all the right questions and REL has done enough work to satisfy investors/partners on that issue. The main issue is, and pretty much always has been, the engine and it's performance.

And for the most part people have been 'batting-an-eye' and going crazy over the engine itself despite the fact that most of the techniques and methods have been known in the aerospace community, (albeit by small and separated segments due to multiple programs and goals which despite aiming for something like the SABRE were more often conflicting and/or looking for different answers) for almost 50 years. The plain fact that it requires a different and what most consider "un-needed" (air breathing) design regime is simply another route to complain about the whole concept.

In truth you could have laid the plans for the SABRE down in front of the engineers and designers working on the Aerospaceplane project in the late 50s and they, (once they got it through their heads that oxygen doesn't require being liquid to pump into a rocket engine) and they would have fully understood the concept. Show the Skylon and other than advanced materials and technology they would have understood it and probably slapped themselves on the forehead for not seeing it themselves.

Randy
From The Amazing Catstronaut on the Black Arrow LV:
British physics, old chap. It's undignified to belch flames and effluvia all over the pad, what. A true gentlemen's orbital conveyance lifts itself into the air unostentatiously, with the minimum of spectacle and a modicum of grace. Not like our American cousins' launch vehicles, eh?

Offline RanulfC

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4416
  • Heus tu Omnis! Vigilate Hoc!
  • Liked: 770
  • Likes Given: 32
Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (6)
« Reply #42 on: 08/08/2016 08:19 PM »
AJ/RD/GE/etc don't propose aircraft. They are catering to an existing market. They anticipate that aircraft developers will keep developing newer models and will go looking for engines to power those models, so they try to push the technology further in the direction they think that market is going (more power, better fuel economy, lower maintenance costs) and sometimes they pick correctly and are selected, and sometimes they fail and have to scramble to catch up. But the basic aircraft design is never the engine manufacturer's. Not in large airliners, not in supersonic fighters, not cargo planes, not rocket launchers, not missiles.

Skylon is REL's design. Solely and utterly. Even moreso, it's mainly Bond's design.

There is no "market" of Skylon-type vehicle developers that is going to go looking for a suitable engine to power their future designs. Skylon is REL, REL is Skylon.

There's no comparison with engine companies. Hence this continual reference to conventional aircraft development makes no sense.

[In fact, the only time REL would be acting like a conventional engine company is with the proposal for LAPCAT and the 2STO proposal from the USAF.]

Er, no. In many cases this is so but strangely enough when engine manufacturers are going out to push the envelope or try and market a 'new' engine that was not a straight out development of an existing engine they quite often put them on notional or concept vehicles for marketing purposes. Aerojet did it for the RSX, Marquardt did it for their LH2 powered Supercharged-Ejection Ram Jet engine and did a much more detailed design or their H2O2/JP4 engine. Usually how detailed they get is how interested they are in selling the design, especially for a "non-standard" engine concept.

And yet what you say engine companies never do is exactly what LarsJ was requiring REL to do. Granted he back-tracked later but that is essentially what he said and I was pointing out that's not the way it works so in that we agree it seems :)

The problem is the more narrow the market, (and obviously the more speculative it is) the more the engine manufacturer has to detail and define the engine and it's capabilities to a prospective client or investor. That's what Skylon is. It's a design of a vehicle powered by SABRE engines that can, with assumed performance of the SABRE, go from a runway into orbit and back. Is it the "set-in-stone" design for Skylon? Not at all and REL has admitted that fact as they are not airframe designers but engine manufacturers. Still there ARE certain well known rules and assumptions for concepts that in general perform the way Skylon is supposed to perform and under those Skylon is a "practical" design at the current level of TRL.

If Skylon is built to exactly the specifications done so far by REL I'd be highly surprised, but I would not be surprised at all if an operational Skylon looked almost exactly like what REL has laid out as it's a very conservative design with the assumptions given.

Randy
From The Amazing Catstronaut on the Black Arrow LV:
British physics, old chap. It's undignified to belch flames and effluvia all over the pad, what. A true gentlemen's orbital conveyance lifts itself into the air unostentatiously, with the minimum of spectacle and a modicum of grace. Not like our American cousins' launch vehicles, eh?

Offline RanulfC

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4416
  • Heus tu Omnis! Vigilate Hoc!
  • Liked: 770
  • Likes Given: 32
Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (6)
« Reply #43 on: 08/08/2016 08:27 PM »
Thank God for China, rescuing this thread from whining about SpaceX:

Looks like they're developing their own version of Skylon.

Quote
It will rely on an indigenous turbine, ramjet, and rocket engines to power the spaceplane in various phases of flight.

Sounds like a multi-engine approach, rather than a single hybrid engine.

If they can make the design close with the mass penalty of three sets of engines, I will be very surprised.

I think that's the way it was written/understood but I don't see anything that would indicate it's not a composite engine of some type. "Turbo-Ram-Rocket" is not that hard to do IF you can master the materials and manufacturing for that matter a SERJ type engine was demonstrated with late 50s early 60s manufacturing and technology and China has that.

Of course the devil is in the details and while I think the presentation probably ripped-off Skylon graphics I'm not surprised a basic similarity would appear. (After all the "original" came from Kelly Johnson to address most of the same issues for high supersonic flight :) ) At least they didn't use a NASP image and there appears to be no cockpit and passenger window running down the sides like most rip-offs :)

Randy
From The Amazing Catstronaut on the Black Arrow LV:
British physics, old chap. It's undignified to belch flames and effluvia all over the pad, what. A true gentlemen's orbital conveyance lifts itself into the air unostentatiously, with the minimum of spectacle and a modicum of grace. Not like our American cousins' launch vehicles, eh?

Offline Paul451

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1238
  • Australia
  • Liked: 607
  • Likes Given: 520
Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (6)
« Reply #44 on: 08/08/2016 10:10 PM »
AJ/RD/GE/etc don't propose aircraft. They are catering to an existing market. They anticipate that aircraft developers will keep developing newer models and will go looking for engines to power those models, so they try to push the technology further in the direction they think that market is going (more power, better fuel economy, lower maintenance costs) and sometimes they pick correctly and are selected, and sometimes they fail and have to scramble to catch up. But the basic aircraft design is never the engine manufacturer's. Not in large airliners, not in supersonic fighters, not cargo planes, not rocket launchers, not missiles.
Skylon is REL's design. Solely and utterly. Even moreso, it's mainly Bond's design.
There is no "market" of Skylon-type vehicle developers that is going to go looking for a suitable engine to power their future designs. Skylon is REL, REL is Skylon.
There's no comparison with engine companies. Hence this continual reference to conventional aircraft development makes no sense.
Er, no. In many cases this is so but strangely enough when engine manufacturers are going out to push the envelope or try and market a 'new' engine that was not a straight out development of an existing engine they quite often put them on notional or concept vehicles for marketing purposes. Aerojet did it for the RSX, Marquardt did it for their LH2 powered Supercharged-Ejection Ram Jet engine and did a much more detailed design or their H2O2/JP4 engine. Usually how detailed they get is how interested they are in selling the design, especially for a "non-standard" engine concept.

So just to be clear, you're comparing REL's development model with companies which never actually sold their product?

Do you have a successful comparison?

[edit: Although it's interesting that in order to get even close, you had to go to VTO-boosters, even though the original analogy was the REL is acting like an aircraft-engine company.]
« Last Edit: 08/08/2016 10:13 PM by Paul451 »

Offline CameronD

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1224
  • Melbourne, Australia
    • Norton Consultants
  • Liked: 391
  • Likes Given: 289
Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (6)
« Reply #45 on: 08/08/2016 11:32 PM »
So just to be clear, you're comparing REL's development model with companies which never actually sold their product?

Do you have a successful comparison?

[edit: Although it's interesting that in order to get even close, you had to go to VTO-boosters, even though the original analogy was the REL is acting like an aircraft-engine company.]

REL can't possibly act like an aircraft-engine company... they've never built one.  ;D

« Last Edit: 08/08/2016 11:34 PM by CameronD »
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Offline knowles2

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 115
  • Liked: 20
  • Likes Given: 50
Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (6)
« Reply #46 on: 08/09/2016 12:21 AM »
Thank God for China, rescuing this thread from whining about SpaceX:

Looks like they're developing their own version of Skylon.

And good for them, as Europe is too timid to fully fund such a huge sum for the full-up space plane and Reaction Engines refuses to come up with a more practical, gradual plan to develop a reusable orbital vehicle.
http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/organizations/china-national-space-administration/china-develop-hybrid-spaceplane-cheaper-space-travel/
From a nation that has trouble developing it own indigenous jet engines, we shall see but I won't be placing my money on seeing this take off.

Offline Rocket Science

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7839
  • NASA Educator Astronaut Candidate Applicant 2002
  • Liked: 2108
  • Likes Given: 4963
Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (6)
« Reply #47 on: 08/09/2016 12:32 AM »
Thank God for China, rescuing this thread from whining about SpaceX:

Looks like they're developing their own version of Skylon.

And good for them, as Europe is too timid to fully fund such a huge sum for the full-up space plane and Reaction Engines refuses to come up with a more practical, gradual plan to develop a reusable orbital vehicle.
http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/organizations/china-national-space-administration/china-develop-hybrid-spaceplane-cheaper-space-travel/
From a nation that has trouble developing it own indigenous jet engines, we shall see but I won't be placing my money on seeing this take off.
Sir Frank Whittle just rolled over...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

Offline Lars-J

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3402
  • California
  • Liked: 2638
  • Likes Given: 1665
Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (6)
« Reply #48 on: 08/09/2016 12:51 AM »
I sympathize with your frustration, because it is such an a**-backwards business plan. (if accurate) If they have any interest in bringing Skylon to reality, REL needs to LEAD this consortium, not hope that someone else will do it. They need to become the prime contractor.

Because Aerojet, Rocketdyne, GE, Rolls-Royce, and Pratt and Whitney have shown that engine manufacturers always have to be the "prime contractor" and take the LEAD in designing and building the vehicles their engines power... :)

They do have to if they hope to have any input in the design of the vehicle. Imagine SpaceX just building the Merlin 1D, and then only selling it if someone would build a Falcon 9 with it. Or an elevator builder selling blueprints for a skyscraper that someone needs to build for them. THAT is the backward part.

Nobody would bat an eye if REL was selling a neat engine that had its use for an air breathing vehicle. But instead they are trying to sell... Skylon.

But note what YOU said:
"I sympathize with your frustration, because it is such an a**-backwards business plan. (if accurate) If they have any interest in bringing Skylon to reality, REL needs to LEAD this consortium, not hope that someone else will do it. They need to become the prime contractor."

Doesn't seem that way to me as they've always said that Skylon is what they put together to answer questions on capability if fitted with SABRE rather than a "required" design. Further they have admitted, though it's a less than optimum design choice, that a TSTO based on SABRE is possible. The main question isn't about Skylon but about SABRE since it is what the entire concept hinges on.

So no, what you said above and what you said previously have nothing to do with each other as you ORIGINAL complaint was that "engine manufacturer" has to LEAD the design/construction consortium, not provide "input" into the design, on order to bring the design to fruition. You then follow with complaining that the "engine manufacturer" is in fact doing, (but isn't clearly) exactly what you demand they do?

I don't see why you have a hard time understanding my position, or think that my two statements contradict each other. If REL just wants to build and sell SABRE, they could find great success (or failure) just like many other engine manufacturers. But if they want specifically SKYLON built, then they need to take control and become the prime contractor selling it to customers.

This unwillingness to start and lead the "consortium" needed to get Skylon built is why I (and many others) for a long time assumed that REL simply wasn't interested in seeing it be built, that REL simply wanted to live off government research funding where they didn't have to produce much of anything. I've changed my mind on this - mostly - But it still appears that REL lacks that final killer instinct to make Skylon happen, by any means necessary.

Offline hkultala

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 618
  • Liked: 157
  • Likes Given: 92
Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (6)
« Reply #49 on: 08/09/2016 09:10 AM »
Thank God for China, rescuing this thread from whining about SpaceX:

Looks like they're developing their own version of Skylon.

And good for them, as Europe is too timid to fully fund such a huge sum for the full-up space plane and Reaction Engines refuses to come up with a more practical, gradual plan to develop a reusable orbital vehicle.

What's more practical in having three sets of heavy engines instead of one set of engines?

Offline john smith 19

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5885
  • Everyplaceelse
  • Liked: 746
  • Likes Given: 4544
Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (6)
« Reply #50 on: 08/09/2016 09:55 AM »
Thank God for China, rescuing this thread from whining about SpaceX:

Looks like they're developing their own version of Skylon.

And good for them, as Europe is too timid to fully fund such a huge sum for the full-up space plane and Reaction Engines refuses to come up with a more practical, gradual plan to develop a reusable orbital vehicle.
http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/organizations/china-national-space-administration/china-develop-hybrid-spaceplane-cheaper-space-travel/
From a nation that has trouble developing it own indigenous jet engines, we shall see but I won't be placing my money on seeing this take off.
That could have been said of America, which did not have an indigenous jet engine development programme before the British brought a sample to them.
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.

Offline Rocket Science

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7839
  • NASA Educator Astronaut Candidate Applicant 2002
  • Liked: 2108
  • Likes Given: 4963
Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (6)
« Reply #51 on: 08/09/2016 01:37 PM »
Thank God for China, rescuing this thread from whining about SpaceX:

Looks like they're developing their own version of Skylon.

And good for them, as Europe is too timid to fully fund such a huge sum for the full-up space plane and Reaction Engines refuses to come up with a more practical, gradual plan to develop a reusable orbital vehicle.
http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/organizations/china-national-space-administration/china-develop-hybrid-spaceplane-cheaper-space-travel/
From a nation that has trouble developing it own indigenous jet engines, we shall see but I won't be placing my money on seeing this take off.
That could have been said of America, which did not have an indigenous jet engine development programme before the British brought a sample to them.
:)
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

Offline Paul451

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1238
  • Australia
  • Liked: 607
  • Likes Given: 520
Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (6)
« Reply #52 on: 08/09/2016 02:25 PM »
Do you have a successful comparison?
OK, how about Heinkel? They designed the Heinkel He 178 around the Heinkel HeS 3,

Heinkel was an aircraft company. So again the analogy doesn't work with REL.

Online Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 26888
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 6787
  • Likes Given: 4813
Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (6)
« Reply #53 on: 08/09/2016 02:57 PM »
Thank God for China, rescuing this thread from whining about SpaceX:

Looks like they're developing their own version of Skylon.

And good for them, as Europe is too timid to fully fund such a huge sum for the full-up space plane and Reaction Engines refuses to come up with a more practical, gradual plan to develop a reusable orbital vehicle.

What's more practical in having three sets of heavy engines instead of one set of engines?
Actually starting to build something that might fly instead of Powerpoints forever. (Something which has little to do with the number of engines.)
« Last Edit: 08/09/2016 02:58 PM by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Rocket Science

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7839
  • NASA Educator Astronaut Candidate Applicant 2002
  • Liked: 2108
  • Likes Given: 4963
Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (6)
« Reply #54 on: 08/09/2016 03:26 PM »
IMHO I consider REL a research project consortium...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

Offline Paul451

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1238
  • Australia
  • Liked: 607
  • Likes Given: 520
Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (6)
« Reply #55 on: 08/09/2016 04:47 PM »
OK, the Wright Brothers. They designed and carved their own propellers, and had their mechanic build an engine in their workshop?
Or were they a glider company first?

I think you might have lost track of the argument.

But in some ways claiming REL are an engine manufacturer is flawed.

That's not the argument. I was responding to the claim that what REL is doing is normal in the aircraft/aerospace industry, "Rolls Royce doesn't build airframes, they leave that to aircraft manufacturers". The development model REL wants for Skylon is nothing like the development model of aircraft or launchers.

Offline hkultala

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 618
  • Liked: 157
  • Likes Given: 92
Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (6)
« Reply #56 on: 08/09/2016 05:17 PM »
Thank God for China, rescuing this thread from whining about SpaceX:

Looks like they're developing their own version of Skylon.

And good for them, as Europe is too timid to fully fund such a huge sum for the full-up space plane and Reaction Engines refuses to come up with a more practical, gradual plan to develop a reusable orbital vehicle.

What's more practical in having three sets of heavy engines instead of one set of engines?
Actually starting to build something that might fly instead of Powerpoints forever. (Something which has little to do with the number of engines.)

Alan Bond has already been designing something that actually flies(Blue Streak),
wasting money just to create "something that might fly" makes no sense if that "something that flies" does not do anything usable and has no technology that the final craft is going to use.

And for Skylon, they have built the preocooler which is the most important part of the craft.

« Last Edit: 08/09/2016 05:18 PM by hkultala »

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31222
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 9495
  • Likes Given: 298
Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (6)
« Reply #57 on: 08/09/2016 06:11 PM »

What is the development model of aircraft or launchers? - launchers seems to vary from the zero-interaction of ULA bolting stockpiled Russian engines to their rockets through to SpaceX's agile development.


You are wrong on both examples.

The Merlin was developed for the Falcon 1 originally.

ULA didn't exist when the RD-180 was developed.   RD-180 was specifically developed for Atlas.  GD/LM participated in its development just like any other new rocket engine.
« Last Edit: 08/09/2016 06:14 PM by Jim »

Offline Paul451

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1238
  • Australia
  • Liked: 607
  • Likes Given: 520
Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (6)
« Reply #58 on: 08/09/2016 06:56 PM »

I suggest you go back and read the comments I was replying to.

Offline john smith 19

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5885
  • Everyplaceelse
  • Liked: 746
  • Likes Given: 4544
Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (6)
« Reply #59 on: 08/09/2016 08:43 PM »
:)

Perhaps you should look a little deeper into its history

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_P-59_Airacomet

The engine is a copy of the Power Jets W2B/23

AFAIK the US had no indigenous jet engine projects anywhere close to flight weight when they were informed the Gloster existed.
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.

Tags: