Author Topic: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (1)  (Read 285591 times)

Offline tnphysics

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The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (1)
« on: 03/30/2011 02:14 AM »
This is for everything about the Skylon. I know, falls under airbreathers, but is special enough (late stage in development) to warrant its own thread IMO.

What does everybody think about putting a passenger compartment in the payload bay and using it as a passenger spacecraft? I read that it could hold around 40 people!
« Last Edit: 12/06/2012 04:23 PM by Chris Bergin »

Online Cinder

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Re: Skylon
« Reply #1 on: 03/30/2011 03:11 AM »
Previously discussed here
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=21530.0
incl. a Skylon developer's participation - user Hempsell

Online AnalogMan

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Re: Skylon
« Reply #2 on: 03/30/2011 11:52 AM »
Previously discussed here
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=21530.0
incl. a Skylon developer's participation - user Hempsell

Did you notice who started that thread?  ;)

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Re: Skylon
« Reply #3 on: 03/30/2011 12:34 PM »
Yep, just in case someone else hadn't seen all the discussion in that other thread.  Thought it was worth linking to, though maybe I underestimate how thorough the forum's readers are - maybe everyone's read that thread and Hempsell's feedback already.

Offline tnphysics

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Re: Skylon
« Reply #4 on: 03/31/2011 12:52 AM »
Nobody mentioned a passenger transport though IIRC

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Re: Skylon
« Reply #5 on: 04/01/2011 08:53 AM »
tnphysics: "high performance air breathing engines". How much room for improvement exists between present high-altitude commercial engines that operate at a consumer price and a Skylon air-breathing engine? My uninformed assumption is that military engines already occupy 'highest performance air breathing engines' and commercial engines are as much high performance as the consumer will financially tolerate. I'll safely assume Skylon is not intended for consumer level people-moving, but for relatively select people-moving.

Reaction Engines has a plan to use engines similar to the SABRE for intercontinental travel in LAPCAT:
http://www.reactionengines.co.uk/lapcat.html

Guy Fieri would say that's off the hook. The documents don't state cruising altitude, but it appears like it isn't high enough to dissipate the sonic boom, and thus requires them to thread the needle to get to Australia. But is Australia the only commute this could work for? If the sonic boom cannot be tolerated over land, does that mean it would have to travel over water and land only in coastal cities?

..
Is the (IIRC) NASA sonic boom mitigation research not successful enough, or not making enough progress to assume more than even odds that they'll find how to make supersonic feasible over populated areas?

Online 93143

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Re: Skylon
« Reply #6 on: 04/01/2011 09:41 AM »
The A2/Scimitar is designed for good subsonic performance, so you don't have to worry about the sonic boom over populated areas.  Obviously you wouldn't want to spend the bulk of the trip subsonic, but it's not like the whole flight path needs to be over water.

Offline Hernalt

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Re: Skylon
« Reply #7 on: 04/03/2011 11:01 AM »
I missed the paragraph at the bottom of the page:
"Unlike Concorde the A2 vehicle has exceptional range (approx 20,000 km both subsonic and supersonic) and is therefore able to service a large number of routes whilst simultaneously avoiding supersonic overflight of populated areas. Its good subsonic performance enables it to service conventional subsonic overland routes thereby increasing its sales potential to airlines."

http://www.reactionengines.co.uk/lapcat_veh.html
"The vehicle is sized to carry 300 passengers since this is typical of future supersonic transport designs and thought to be the minimum to achieve a competitive seat/mile cost."

Boeing 777 for comparison:
http://www.boeing.com/commercial/777family/longer_range/index.html
"Provisions for up to three optional fuel tanks have been added in the aft cargo area of the 777-200LR to be able to fly a range of 9,395 nautical miles (17,395 km) with full passenger payload (301 passengers)."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruise_%28flight%29
"Typical cruising speed for long-distance commercial passenger flights is 475-500 knots (878-926 km/h; 547-578 mph)."

Offline lkm

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Re: Skylon
« Reply #8 on: 04/11/2011 11:42 AM »
Roger Longstaff of Reaction Engines spoke at Space Access '11 and there's an interesting summary here.

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2011/04/09/space-access-11-reaction-engines-skylon-space-plane/

Offline alexterrell

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Re: Skylon
« Reply #9 on: 04/11/2011 05:55 PM »
Roger Longstaff of Reaction Engines spoke at Space Access '11 and there's an interesting summary here.

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2011/04/09/space-access-11-reaction-engines-skylon-space-plane/
From the site:
"Very disruptive technology if it works, put expendable vehicles out of business"

I suppose there would still be a market for HLVs.

However, the only way Skylon will get funded is as an ESA project, as a successor to the Ariannes. ESA is politically led by the French. The French won't want arianespace put out of business.

I suppose if Skylon is operated by Arianespace, it might work.

Offline Patchouli

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Re: Skylon
« Reply #10 on: 04/11/2011 06:25 PM »
Roger Longstaff of Reaction Engines spoke at Space Access '11 and there's an interesting summary here.

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2011/04/09/space-access-11-reaction-engines-skylon-space-plane/
From the site:
"Very disruptive technology — if it works, put expendable vehicles out of business"

I suppose there would still be a market for HLVs.

However, the only way Skylon will get funded is as an ESA project, as a successor to the Ariannes. ESA is politically led by the French. The French won't want arianespace put out of business.

I suppose if Skylon is operated by Arianespace, it might work.


Well it would for the 15T and smaller class 12T for ISS inclination.

Skylon can launch a 30T payloads if sub orbital deployment is used but the payload it's self must do a 858M/sec burn.

This requirement would be no problem for a lunar lander or small departure stage esp if it can refuel on orbit but might bar things like station modules.

Ironically SKylon seems to be a much more conservative design then the X33/Venturestar in that it does not require composite cryogenic tanks.

The fuel tanks appear to be fairly conventional materials.
« Last Edit: 04/12/2011 08:58 AM by Patchouli »

Online 93143

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Re: Skylon
« Reply #11 on: 04/12/2011 02:49 AM »
However, the only way Skylon will get funded is as an ESA project, as a successor to the Ariannes. ESA is politically led by the French. The French won't want arianespace put out of business.

I suppose if Skylon is operated by Arianespace, it might work.

REL is trying to keep this commercial.  I believe their target is 85% commercial investment, for the whole program.

Arianespace could simply buy a number of Skylons and operate them like an airline.
« Last Edit: 04/12/2011 02:51 AM by 93143 »

Offline simonbp

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Re: Skylon
« Reply #12 on: 04/15/2011 11:00 PM »
Roger Longstaff of Reaction Engines spoke at Space Access '11 and there's an interesting summary here.

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2011/04/09/space-access-11-reaction-engines-skylon-space-plane/
From the site:
"Very disruptive technology if it works, put expendable vehicles out of business"

I suppose there would still be a market for HLVs.

However, the only way Skylon will get funded is as an ESA project, as a successor to the Ariannes. ESA is politically led by the French. The French won't want arianespace put out of business.

I suppose if Skylon is operated by Arianespace, it might work.

It doesn't have to built by someone in Europe. In the talk, it was clear that Reaction Engines whats to get it to a point in a few years that they can hand it off to prime contractor for full-scale development. If SABRE gets the performance they're claiming (should know in the Autumn), then there are several US companies who might be willing to pick it up and bring it to a level that interests USAF. Get USAF sold, and it might actually happen...

Offline lkm

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Re: Skylon
« Reply #13 on: 04/16/2011 04:31 PM »
Reaction Engines have made it clear that ITAR restrictions prevent any US involvement.

Offline Hernalt

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Re: Skylon
« Reply #14 on: 04/17/2011 03:39 AM »

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