Author Topic: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)  (Read 421300 times)

Offline francesco nicoli

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #160 on: 03/18/2015 07:50 AM »
if demand for space is sufficiently elastic,yes.
But we don't know it yet.

Offline lkm

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #161 on: 03/18/2015 03:47 PM »
Apparently Jeremy Nickless gave a presentation at NSSC 2015 at the beginning of the month,


http://ukseds.org/nssc2015/?p=speakers

Anyone attend?

Anyway there are some slide pictures on twitter from it and this one seemed new to me:

https://twitter.com/Astro_Mona/status/572037016537444352/photo/1

I read it as saying in airbreathing mode SABRE consumes 900t of air for a deltaV of 5.2km/s, which is data point for SABRE 4 performance I don't think we had before.

Offline 93143

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #162 on: 03/18/2015 10:15 PM »
I'm seeing "Rocket ΔV=6.2km/s", which sounds about right given that C1 seems to have been about 6.3 km/s.  Airbreathing should be around 3.5-4 km/s if it's anything like C1, which according to my calculations was about 3.7 km/s.

900 tonnes of air is less than the 1250 tonnes or so C1 took in, but that includes the bypass flow; scaling the 530-tonne core flow by the increased mass of D1 still gives me only 650 tonnes.  If the new engine is substantially different, perhaps with a different trajectory-coupled-optimum thrust level, I can see how the number might have changed.  Or maybe it's per engine; one SABRE 3 seems to use close to 800 tonnes when scaled to the mass of D1.  Alternately, I could have done my math wrong; it's happened before...
« Last Edit: 03/19/2015 09:07 AM by 93143 »

Offline Soundbite

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #163 on: 03/20/2015 06:44 PM »
Just thought you might all be interested in the latest press release from reaction engines http://www.reactionengines.co.uk/press_release.html.

Alan Bond is going to concentrate on being Chief Engineer and pass the reigns of Managing Director to a new appointee.

Maybe they are anticipating tougher competition ahead?

Offline adrianwyard

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #164 on: 03/20/2015 08:32 PM »
The fact that they've hired the former Chief Engineer for Technology and Future Programmes with Rolls-Royce Civil Large Engines to be the new MD seems to me to be very positive news. And importantly an addition that potential investors would welcome.

Offline john smith 19

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #165 on: 03/20/2015 10:08 PM »
Just thought you might all be interested in the latest press release from reaction engines http://www.reactionengines.co.uk/press_release.html.

Alan Bond is going to concentrate on being Chief Engineer and pass the reigns of Managing Director to a new appointee.

Maybe they are anticipating tougher competition ahead?
No, it means he wants to focus on the technology development.
"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 lkm

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #166 on: 03/20/2015 10:22 PM »
The fact that they've hired the former Chief Engineer for Technology and Future Programmes with Rolls-Royce Civil Large Engines to be the new MD seems to me to be very positive news. And importantly an addition that potential investors would welcome.
Quote
Mark Thomas, CEng, FRAeS

Mark is Chief Engineer for Technology and Future Programmes in the Rolls-Royce Civil Large Engines Business. He leads the Engineering teams responsible for the exploration and concept design of next generation propulsion systems; also the execution of system level demonstrators to deliver innovative technologies meeting future product requirements.

In 2014 Mark will celebrate 25 years with Rolls-Royce, joining the Company in 1989 as a sponsored Undergraduate trainee before completing an Engineering degree at Queens’ College, Cambridge University.

Mark’s career started in the Rolls-Royce Defence Aerospace Business and he has completed a variety of Engineering and Management roles located in the UK and Germany.

Notable roles have included Chief Development Engineer for the EJ200 (Typhoon) Engine, Programme Executive for UK Defence Research and Technology, Chief Engineer for the EJ200 (Typhoon), RB199 (Tornado) & Adour (Hawk/Jaguar) engine programmes, and Technical Director of the Eurojet Turbo GmbH consortium based in Munich.

As a Chief Engineer in Defence, Mark was responsible for the support of around 3,000 engines worldwide with 25 Military Operators ranging from the US Navy to Royal Australian Air Force.

In 2009 Mark moved to the Civil Aerospace Business in Derby to take up the role of Chief Engineer for the Trent 900 (Airbus A380), leading the team during an especially challenging three year period for the programme, working closely with Airbus and Airline Customers.

Mark is a Chartered Engineer, Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and also a Governor of a flourishing Engineering Academy. He mentors a number of engineers in Rolls-Royce and is a key member of the Rolls-Royce Senior Engineering Leadership team.

Mark is married with two teenage sons and one daughter and lives in Leicestershire. Outside work he enjoys skiing, travel and reading.
- See more at: http://aerosociety.com/Events/Event-List/1577/Rolls-Royce-future-developments-in-engine-technology#sthash.Zx2ceu45.dpuf

I think this  answers rather handily the questions of whether REL is a serious concern and whether there is anyone with real experience working there.

Offline john smith 19

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #167 on: 03/21/2015 12:12 AM »
I think this  answers rather handily the questions of whether REL is a serious concern and whether there is anyone with real experience working there.
In theory yes, in practice no.  :(

Skeptics will note that no one would walk away from a 25 year career with a company without substantial motivation to do so. 

Doubters will continue to insist that only a full size flight vehicle returning from orbit, having deployed a full size payload, will adequately demonstrate that it can work.

Then they will (grudgingly) admit it works but insist that that REL will never sell any.  :(

I'll note that substantial investors in new companies often require Board level representation as a condition of that investment.
"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 t43562

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #168 on: 03/21/2015 01:02 PM »
I think this  answers rather handily the questions of whether REL is a serious concern and whether there is anyone with real experience working there.
In theory yes, in practice no.  :(

Skeptics will note that no one would walk away from a 25 year career with a company without substantial motivation to do so.

They can't question the experience though.

Another interesting possibility struck me: I used to work for a big Finnish phone maker and when a fairly high up executive arrived from a competitor to become CEO it was a prelude to a takeover.  ..... :-)

Offline Citizen Wolf

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #169 on: 03/21/2015 01:41 PM »
When someone with the credentials of Mark Thomas comes in from a company as important as RR then there's something serious afoot.

It's not clear if he's maintaining a position at RR?  If he still maintains some position at RR then that has implications for what's going on with regards the latest announcement. As suggested above, perhaps there's going to be a take-over or collaboration of some sort.

If he's severing his ties with RR then that also tells us something. He will have had a look at all the insider information before he makes a career move like that. He won't want to tarnish his reputation and get on-board with a project that he thinks won't succeed.
« Last Edit: 03/21/2015 01:43 PM by Citizen Wolf »
The only thing I can be sure of is that I can't be sure of anything.

Offline lkm

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #170 on: 03/21/2015 03:45 PM »
I think this  answers rather handily the questions of whether REL is a serious concern and whether there is anyone with real experience working there.
In theory yes, in practice no.  :(

Skeptics will note that no one would walk away from a 25 year career with a company without substantial motivation to do so.

They can't question the experience though.

Another interesting possibility struck me: I used to work for a big Finnish phone maker and when a fairly high up executive arrived from a competitor to become CEO it was a prelude to a takeover.  ..... :-)

I used to think RR might take REL over at some point, but now I just wonder why they haven't already.
Given the number of ex RR employees at REL from the top down it's effectively a RR spinoff anyway.
At this point in time REL has basically proved their major engine innovation and everything to come over the next 3-4 years is engine integration work that could benefit greatly from the massive resources of RR as well as RR's great experience negotiating ITAR and being a major US defence contractor. I'm sure REL's IP could be worth many the cost of the company to RR when applied across RR's product line.

Offline Star One

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #171 on: 03/21/2015 06:47 PM »

I think this  answers rather handily the questions of whether REL is a serious concern and whether there is anyone with real experience working there.
In theory yes, in practice no.  :(

Skeptics will note that no one would walk away from a 25 year career with a company without substantial motivation to do so.

They can't question the experience though.

Another interesting possibility struck me: I used to work for a big Finnish phone maker and when a fairly high up executive arrived from a competitor to become CEO it was a prelude to a takeover.  ..... :-)

I used to think RR might take REL over at some point, but now I just wonder why they haven't already.
Given the number of ex RR employees at REL from the top down it's effectively a RR spinoff anyway.
At this point in time REL has basically proved their major engine innovation and everything to come over the next 3-4 years is engine integration work that could benefit greatly from the massive resources of RR as well as RR's great experience negotiating ITAR and being a major US defence contractor. I'm sure REL's IP could be worth many the cost of the company to RR when applied across RR's product line.

Be interesting to see if a takeover by RR is in the offing, I'm almost surprised this hasn't already happened. Perhaps they are waiting for the AFRL to report back to find out if there is the possibility of a valuable future customer for the technology.

Offline t43562

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #172 on: 03/21/2015 08:39 PM »


I used to think RR might take REL over at some point, but now I just wonder why they haven't already.
.....

Be interesting to see if a takeover by RR is in the offing, I'm almost surprised this hasn't already happened. Perhaps they are waiting for the AFRL to report back to find out if there is the possibility of a valuable future customer for the technology.
....

I have no expertise to base this on but it would surprise me a bit given the immensely competitive market that RR are in.  It seems to me like a fight to the death against superb competitors with possibly better subsidies. If I was them I'd want to spend every ounce of my R&D effort on getting some advantage in the current jet engine battles.   I've heard speculation that RR might even be concerned that SABRE would divert talent away that it needs.  This could be an example.

I went to a lecture not long ago about RR research areas and it spent a lot of time on the Ultrafan and an explanation of the market and how it works - engines sold before they are even designed.  To me it sounded like the sort of fierce competition that tends to make people focus on improving widget X instead of inventing totally new ones and hoping to sell them - simply because any loss, any mistake could hand billions of dollars of future revenue to a competitor.

Their long term worries, according to the speaker (John Whurr), are that distributed propulsion will make it more sensible for the airframer to also build the engines, since they will be so intricately integrated, and that there wont' be the option of buying from a range of engine manufacturers.  i.e. that their raison d'etre will disappear.

So SABRE seems like rather a diversion to me.....but.... he did mention that they do some degree research into cryogenic engines, hydrogen as a fuel (my terminology is probably all wrong).  Anyhow I pricked my ears up because that sounded a little like SABRE.

To me it seems more logical that RR might have an interest in using precoolers for engines other than SABRE. It would certainly be a trick that others might find hard to copy.

I have no special knowledge.  I'm speculating - which is more fun the less one actually knows :-).

Offline john smith 19

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #173 on: 03/22/2015 08:45 AM »
Their long term worries, according to the speaker (John Whurr), are that distributed propulsion will make it more sensible for the airframer to also build the engines, since they will be so intricately integrated, and that there wont' be the option of buying from a range of engine manufacturers.  i.e. that their raison d'etre will disappear.
"Distributed propulsion"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distributed_propulsion

What specifically did he mean by the term?
Quote
So SABRE seems like rather a diversion to me.....but.... he did mention that they do some degree research into cryogenic engines, hydrogen as a fuel (my terminology is probably all wrong).  Anyhow I pricked my ears up because that sounded a little like SABRE.

To me it seems more logical that RR might have an interest in using precoolers for engines other than SABRE. It would certainly be a trick that others might find hard to copy.
Then you'd be talking about REL's work on the EU funded LAPCAT project for M5 airliners.
"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 t43562

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #174 on: 03/22/2015 01:10 PM »
Their long term worries, according to the speaker (John Whurr), are that distributed propulsion will make it more sensible for the airframer to also build the engines, since they will be so intricately integrated, and that there wont' be the option of buying from a range of engine manufacturers.  i.e. that their raison d'etre will disappear.
"Distributed propulsion"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distributed_propulsion

What specifically did he mean by the term?

As I understood him, it meant all sorts of combinations of propulsors, engines and batteries ranging from engines with mechanical transmission to their distributed propulsors to fully electric aircraft with lots of battery storage.

RR has to study these to see if there's a place for it in any of them and to know when and what moves to make (my interpretation).



So SABRE seems like rather a diversion to me.....but.... he did mention that they do some degree research into cryogenic engines, hydrogen as a fuel (my terminology is probably all wrong).  Anyhow I pricked my ears up because that sounded a little like SABRE.

To me it seems more logical that RR might have an interest in using precoolers for engines other than SABRE. It would certainly be a trick that others might find hard to copy.
Then you'd be talking about REL's work on the EU funded LAPCAT project for M5 airliners.

I found this quote from a Reaction Engines Q&A on "The Engineer"'s website:  http://www.theengineer.co.uk/aerospace/in-depth/skylon-and-sabre-your-questions-answered/1014164.article

Quote
Other market applications for the technologies that we have been developing include but are not limited to improving the efficiency of ground-based heat engine cycles for power production, reducing infra-red signatures in engine exhausts, increasing the performance of automotive engines through improved waste heat recovery, higher performing air-conditioning and refrigeration systems for civil and industrial applications such as for LPG shipping, and increasing the efficiency of cooling for electrical and nuclear power systems.

So I can imagine those precoolers being of interest e.g. to the Trident "successor" submarines or possibly to the company that RR invested in which wants to make small modular nuclear reactors for civil applications - so you don't have  such a huge capital cost before you can start generating - you can grow bit by bit and upgrade bit by bit too.  You can also obviously see the interest for LO aircraft - like FCAS.  etc etc.  It seems odd that something could help the efficiency of ground based automotive engines but have no value to aircraft engines at all, at least in theory if weight was not a problem and cost could be reduced.  So I am wondering if Mach 5 Lapcat isn't a sort of distraction from some other more conventional use for precoolers?
« Last Edit: 03/22/2015 03:48 PM by t43562 »

Offline knowles2

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #175 on: 03/22/2015 09:15 PM »
Mark Thomas is an experience guy.

It will be interesting to see if he makes any big changes, like you know hire a PR person that writes regular updates about the project :P

I never really heard anything from Rolls Royce that they are looking to make a major entry into a new market and the acquisition of REL would be a major move for them But it they are losing talent to REL, RR is probably looking at their options.
« Last Edit: 03/22/2015 09:19 PM by knowles2 »

Offline john smith 19

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #176 on: 03/24/2015 09:24 AM »
As I understood him, it meant all sorts of combinations of propulsors, engines and batteries ranging from engines with mechanical transmission to their distributed propulsors to fully electric aircraft with lots of battery storage.
RR provide a lot of the small lift jet engine for various VTOL concepts in the 1960s.

In the end only the Harrier entered service. Given Boeing couldn't even face the idea of a blended wing body airliner for the 787 this is decades away at least.
Quote
It seems odd that something could help the efficiency of ground based automotive engines but have no value to aircraft engines at all, at least in theory if weight was not a problem and cost could be reduced. 
What REL have been saying is that this tech is very difficult to retrofit to existing jet engines as they were built to use (and need) certain flows, pressures and temperatures. Pre coolers can change the game if built into a new design from day one.
Quote
So I am wondering if Mach 5 Lapcat isn't a sort of distraction from some other more conventional use for precoolers?
When someone puts cash on the table to investigate a long term idea versus various ideas that have put no money on the table it's never a distraction. :(

BTW while a real M5 airliner is probably decades away that programme let REL investigate contra rotating turbines (now SOP on the larger Trents but when this started only seen on the Olympus used in the Harrier) and low NOx combustion which is expected to create 1% of the NOx of other H2 combustors.

Useful things to have in the too box if you're planning to build a big low weight LH2 engine.  :)
"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 topsphere

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #177 on: 03/25/2015 12:01 PM »
I'm going to a talk entitled "Precooled propulsion – key to 21st century spaceflight" by Richard Varvill of REL tomorrow. I will try and either record audio or make notes to post here, but does anyone have any burning questions that I might attempt to put to him?

Edit - Just realised tomorrows talk will be broadcast live - http://www.develop3dlive.com/d3d-live-stream-gmt/   - starting at ~14:20 GMT

I'll still try and make notes but if people want to better understand what Mr Varvill will be saying it may be better to watch his talk.
« Last Edit: 03/26/2015 11:19 AM by topsphere »

Offline lkm

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #178 on: 03/25/2015 01:55 PM »
I'm going to a talk entitled "Precooled propulsion – key to 21st century spaceflight" by Richard Varvill of REL tomorrow. I will try and either record audio or make notes to post here, but does anyone have any burning questions that I might attempt to put to him?

Off the top of my head these are my questions:
 
   1) Does the SABRE 4 cycle use hydrogen recycling to achieve it's high efficiency? (He wont answer but may have a tell that gives it away)

  2) Does the SABRE frost prevention work by turning off precooler module pairs in a rotational cycle around the      precooler allowing the channels to be constantly blown clear? (ditto)

  3)Has the SABRE 4 been definitively chosen as the production engine yet?

  4)Will the final production model be a Skylon E type?

  5)What does he think of the UK Spaceport shortlist and whether he thinks it's important that the selected site be   capable of being expanded to support orbital vehicles in the long term, such as Skylon, or is it more important to be close to the  existing aerospace economic base?

  6)Would REL every consider a buy out from Rolls Royce?

  7)What's the status of Valkyrie, the nacelle test vehicle et al?   

  8)Has the USAF CRADA experience been a positive one given REL's justified fear of ITAR entanglement?

  9)Roughly what percentage of future Skylon production will take place in the UK, i.e. parts production, assembly, etc?

  10)The city of London has a reputation for being poor at financing long term infrastructure projects, has REL found that problem  in relation to Skylon?


Most of these questions probably aren't very answerable though.
« Last Edit: 03/25/2015 01:55 PM by lkm »

Offline lkm

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #179 on: 03/28/2015 09:51 PM »
Going back to Mark Thomas, Rolls Royce and the possibility of other light weight heat exchanger applications, in look into Thomas I found this presentation:

http://aerosociety.com/Assets/Docs/Events/746/GBD_Propulsion_211014_RR_1.pdf

Which led to this one:

http://www.newac.eu/uploads/media/NEWAC_Technologies.pdf

Where the introduction of a heat exchanger between bypass air and compressed air situated between the low pressure and high pressure compressors is used to gain a higher overall pressure ratio. The heat exchanger used is a titanium corrugated lattice but it would be interesting to know how its efficiency compares to SABRE's precooler.

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