Author Topic: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)  (Read 421670 times)

Offline tl6973

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #660 on: 09/07/2015 12:09 PM »
Some other European candidates for air-frame construction:

Dassault Aviation

Quote
Wikipedia
In 2015, Dassault Aviation is a multinational company employing almost 11,745 people, including 9,000 in France, with a commercial presence in over 83 countries and its activities are centered on the following areas:

>aeronautics with 8,000 aircraft delivered since 1945, mainly business jets representing 71% of activity (Falcon)   and also military aircraft (Mirage 2000, Rafale and nEUROn),

>space activities (ground telemetry systems, spacecraft design and pyrotechnic activities),

>services (Dassault Procurement Services, Dassault Falcon Jet and Dassault Falcon Service),

>aerospace and defense systems (Sogitec Industries).

Finmeccannica

Quote
Wikipedia
Finmeccanica S.p.A. is the leading industrial group in the high-technology sector in Italy and one of the main global players in aerospace, defence and security. It operates in seven sectors: aeronautics, helicopters, space, electronics, defence systems, transportation and construction.

Offline lkm

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #661 on: 09/07/2015 03:26 PM »
If we're playing fantasy consortium building then the likely culprits are probably:

GKN to make all the composite spars.

Airbus UK to make the wings.

Airbus Defence and Space to make the tanks, SOMA engine.

Finmeccannica to make the passenger module.

Thales Alenia to make the upper stage.

BAE to make the nacelles.

Construction location is probably dependant on politics, it needs a runway and permission for takeoff unless the site is capably of sending a Skylon out by water. The UK government will want it constructed in the UK which makes the most likely sites either Newquay if it gets the spaceport or Warton if it doesn't.  Either way a new facility would probably be need at which ever site.
The major components left, payload bay, undercarriage, etc would probably be split up by work share and the consortium will end up looking like the eurofighter  BAE/Airbus/Finmeccannica.

Anyway that's pretty much how I see things coming together should things manage to come together.
I personally think the risk of a consortium failing to come together is higher than the risk of the SABRE prototype engine not being completed before 2020 but I also think that the political will behind Skylon both in the UK and Europe
shouldn't be underestimated, much of UK space policy is being made with Skylon in mind and ESA has spent the last decade carefully helping the project along. Should REL succeed in building the engine as promised and the European Aerospace industry declines to put it in a vehicle then I think a lot of political goodwill will be lost.


Offline francesco nicoli

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #662 on: 09/08/2015 10:06 AM »
did Chris in the new article just revealed that SpaceX suspended the first stage recovery agenda until they finish explore potential full reusability, or I am getting it wrong?


Offline tl6973

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #663 on: 09/08/2015 10:49 AM »
It's referring to the second stage:

Quote
The review focused on changes to the Second Stage (L2), such as the reduction in weight and margins since SpaceX opted against recovery attempts of this stage in its current configuration.

Offline knowles2

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #664 on: 09/08/2015 04:11 PM »
BAE SYSTEMS is a British based an aircraft manufacturer. If the UK Government is paying it may be happy to build a SSTO spacecraft.
Do they even still have any capability to make large aircraft though? They sold their stake in Airbus ten years ago, do they have any facilities or experience left to enable them to be the prime airframer for Skylon?
Their Taranis UAV work is probably useful software wise but beyond that what do they have to offer?
Given the materials use in Skylon and given the size of the craft I doubt any company has a ready made facility in the UK or in fact anywhere in the world. A big sum would have to be invested building such a facility capable of manufacturing the plane.  Plus the Runway requirement means you may as well build a new facility and runaway rather doing what I presume would be a costly upgrade of existing runway and delay delivery of planes to existing customers.
« Last Edit: 09/08/2015 04:17 PM by knowles2 »

Online john smith 19

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #665 on: 09/08/2015 11:59 PM »
Given the materials use in Skylon and given the size of the craft I doubt any company has a ready made facility in the UK or in fact anywhere in the world. A big sum would have to be invested building such a facility capable of manufacturing the plane.
Depends. The vehicle is nowhere near the height of a high bay, maybe 60 feet total. Most of the structures will be fairly lightweight. Things get trickier as near full assembly and very large once you add the wings.  A lot would depend on what sort of production rate you're looking for.

As for runway weight that depends. On air breathing only to a test site the vehicle is 150 tonnes lighter, considerably shortening and lightening the runway needed.
Quote
Plus the Runway requirement means you may as well build a new facility and runaway rather doing what I presume would be a costly upgrade of existing runway and delay delivery of planes to existing customers.
There are basically 3 options. Sub orbital testing, orbital with no payload and fully loaded to orbit.

I think you could get away with a lot of testing from an A380 or 777 certified runway.
"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 Star One

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #666 on: 09/11/2015 03:45 PM »
Wonder if this increases the likelihood of RR considering some kind of merger or takeover down the line.

Offline lkm

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #667 on: 09/12/2015 12:37 PM »
Another interesting hire:
Quote from: http://www.reactionengines.co.uk/news_updates.html
Jonathan Hale joins the Reaction Engines Ltd Board as a Non-Executive Director
[...]
Jonathan has over 35 years of commercial and financial experience in the aerospace, energy, mining and consulting sectors. Prior to joining C-FEC, a revolutionary wind turbine company, Jonathan was Director of Corporate Strategy for Rolls Royce plc and a member of its Group Executive, retiring in 2010. He was responsible for corporate strategy, M&A, development of new businesses and partnerships, and commercialisation of technology.
[...]
Jonathan has an MBA from Harvard School of Business Administration and an MA and BA from Cambridge University in Metallurgy and Materials Science.

Sorry, no permalink.
More Rolls Royce staff, perhaps pointing towards an engine partner, or perhaps the work RR did on the predecessor gives them more confidence to join REL.


Quote
Jonathan Hale, the former Strategy Director at Rolls-Royce, understands how to shape company strategy better than pretty much anyone you could wish to meet. - Jonathan Mitchell former Global CIO of Rolls-Royce

I think what this continues to show is that serious people are taking REL seriously. Perhaps it's time for Skylon graduate from advanced concepts.

Online john smith 19

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #668 on: 09/12/2015 05:39 PM »
I think what this continues to show is that serious people are taking REL seriously. Perhaps it's time for Skylon graduate from advanced concepts.
It's a fair question. I'd like to see a few more companies other than RR show themselves

What bothers me is they don't seem to have anyone with a serious background in raising money.

The next steps are big upgrades in cash, but (I would guess) much lower levels of risk that an "unknown unknown" will turn up and make it unworkable.

This would seem to be the point at which they need to get someone who can talk to the right kind of investor.

If you can handle the level of risk involved REL has a very good story to tell about its use of investors money and its ability to deliver what it promises when it promises to do so.

Those are significant virtues for investors, some of which simply won't look at less than $Bn investments due to their size.
"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 #669 on: 09/12/2015 06:57 PM »
I think what this continues to show is that serious people are taking REL seriously. Perhaps it's time for Skylon graduate from advanced concepts.
It's a fair question. I'd like to see a few more companies other than RR show themselves

What bothers me is they don't seem to have anyone with a serious background in raising money.

The next steps are big upgrades in cash, but (I would guess) much lower levels of risk that an "unknown unknown" will turn up and make it unworkable.

This would seem to be the point at which they need to get someone who can talk to the right kind of investor.

If you can handle the level of risk involved REL has a very good story to tell about its use of investors money and its ability to deliver what it promises when it promises to do so.

Those are significant virtues for investors, some of which simply won't look at less than $Bn investments due to their size.


If you look here:

https://www.linkedin.com/company/reaction-engines-limited

You can find a slightly more extensive list of employees and there are a couple maybe fits that profile, such as Allister Furey who's currently a Consultant at Reaction Engines but has seemed to have spent ten years sitting on either side of the VC table.

Offline lkm

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #670 on: 09/15/2015 12:37 PM »
For anyone able to attend there's a lecture coming up Wednesday, 11 November presented by Dr. Robin Davies, Control Systems Engineer, Reaction Engines Ltd.
It's being held at  The Airbus Conference Suite, Airbus UK, Chester Road, Broughton, CH4 0DR.

So at least we can be sure Airbus have heard of Skylon.

http://aerosociety.com/Events/Event-List/2172/The-Skylon-Spaceplane-and-Sabre-Engine-Progress-to-Date-and-Future-Prospects

Offline francesco nicoli

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #671 on: 09/16/2015 11:23 PM »
not exactly skylon news but....

A Lapcat II design was proposed yesterday by REL-affiliated ESA researches, a mach-8 airliner apparently.

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20150914-the-challenges-of-building-a-hypersonic-airliner

Offline adrianwyard

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #672 on: 09/17/2015 04:02 AM »
In the BBC article they refer to a 'thermal paradox' where heating is less severe for a Mach 8 vehicle than a Mach 5 one. Below is the article that explains that (essentially overall heating is more manageable for a Mach 8 vehicle because the flight time - at high temperatures - is reduced since you land earlier.)

http://www.congrexprojects.com/Custom/15A01/Papers/Room%202.1/Thursday/Long%20range%20transatmospheric%20systems%20II/90155_Steelant.pdf

I guess this is a strike against the Mach 5 REL LAPCAT A2 concept.
« Last Edit: 09/17/2015 04:02 AM by adrianwyard »

Online john smith 19

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #673 on: 09/17/2015 07:59 AM »
not exactly skylon news but....

A Lapcat II design was proposed yesterday by REL-affiliated ESA researches, a mach-8 airliner apparently.

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20150914-the-challenges-of-building-a-hypersonic-airliner
Closer than you might realize.

LAPCAT started with something like 6-8 proposals up to M8.

Only 2 survived. The M5 H2 fueled pre cooled turbo ramjet and the M8 Keroscene SCRamjet.
The M5 design came from Reaction engines, the SCRamjet from DLR but only the M5 design had the range to spend most of the flight at M5 and still have enough fuel left over for a subsonic flight to the target airports.

Clicking on the "AIAA Hypersonic Plane" link in the article gave the 1st page of the report and in the abstract it mentions part of the preparatory work for this was a cross checking of high velocity wind tunnels across Europe, so results from one can be matched (at a different speed) to results from another.

It is handy to know such things should you find yourself wanting to build a vehicle with a very broad Mach range.

And now REL have that information.
In the BBC article they refer to a 'thermal paradox' where heating is less severe for a Mach 8 vehicle than a Mach 5 one. Below is the article that explains that (essentially overall heating is more manageable for a Mach 8 vehicle because the flight time - at high temperatures - is reduced since you land earlier.)

http://www.congrexprojects.com/Custom/15A01/Papers/Room%202.1/Thursday/Long%20range%20transatmospheric%20systems%20II/90155_Steelant.pdf

I guess this is a strike against the Mach 5 REL LAPCAT A2 concept.
Dig a little deeper.

Those models are very crude.  :( . their structural model for the vehicle seems quite crude as well. A superalloy skin with borosilicate glass fibre insulation. I would have guessed Titanium would be more likely today. Internally PU foam is good enough to stop water vapour freezing around an LH2 tank and modern foams have reuse temperatures of 250c.  They are also running comparisons with  the SHEFEX II flight experiment using flat panels of RCC.

While that sort of makes sense, since the vehicle is modeled as a set of inclined plates, it's still not clear if the RCC had an anti oxidation coating, which probably would not have been needed for a sounding rocket flight but which would be absolutely essential to stop it burning off.

Enthusiasts for RCC tend to gloss over the small detail that the coating sets the real limits on RCC's emissivity, fatigue life and oxidation resistance.  :(

Actually the report's conclusions would not be too surprising to people who've studied re-entry heating.

Capsules have intense peak heating but for a very short time, giving a shortish integrated heat pulse, while the Shuttle had lower overall temperatures but for a prolonged period, resulting in a larger total heat load.

Due to the fixed distance in this situation higher Mach translates to shorter time, higher peak pulse.

I think the sentence "Overall this paradox is challenging but demands extreme care" should have also been in the conclusion (it's in the paragraph before).

TBH given the numbers listed it looks like the Skylon structure of Titanium space frame covered by a longitudinally corrugated SiC reinforced borosilicate glass is looking quite promising for this application as well.

Keep in mind that this theoretical advantage only happens if you can get to M8. No one is anywhere near close to building an aircraft sized SCRamjet (the "SR72" is a set of power points and if built will still be a drone, not a crew carrier), let alone a 300 passenger aircraft.
"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 francesco nicoli

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #674 on: 09/17/2015 10:06 AM »
guys, I think I need few clarifications as I am no engineer.

Is this lapcat II design a hybrid jet-rocket engine like Skylon?

If not, what are the implications for future Skylon design, provided that Skylon D1 is expected to travel up to M5 before switching in rocket mode, and this lapcat II design is expected to reach M8 wthout rocket mode (if I understand it well)?

Online john smith 19

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #675 on: 09/17/2015 08:01 PM »
guys, I think I need few clarifications as I am no engineer.

Is this lapcat II design a hybrid jet-rocket engine like Skylon?

If not, what are the implications for future Skylon design, provided that Skylon D1 is expected to travel up to M5 before switching in rocket mode, and this lapcat II design is expected to reach M8 wthout rocket mode (if I understand it well)?
The focus is the DLR "MR2" design, which is their M8 plan.

http://www.icas.org/ICAS_ARCHIVE/ICAS2014/data/papers/2014_0428_paper.pdf

This vehicle is LH2 fueled. It seems to run in 3 stages. An Air Turbo Rock is meant to generate thrust and initial air motion up to ramjet ignition then that cuts over eventually to a SCRamjet at the full M8 cruise speed.

Combustion and  inlet studies are a big part of this programme.

Like all SCRamjets it promises huge benefits. Also like all SCRamjets every part of it is intimately linked to every other part from the inlets backwards. Which means any slight change has to be worked through the whole design.
"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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Online john smith 19

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #677 on: 09/23/2015 12:03 PM »
I wonder what this is all about?

http://aviationweek.com/technology/turbine-engine-could-pave-way-supersonic-cruise-missiles
About 55 years too late.

The J58 on the SR71 maanged that in the early 60's.

However to so meant the USAF swallowed the cost of a fuel supply chain, from refinery through tanks to tanker aircraft dedicated to SR71 support.

That is no longer viable. My guess is they are looking at doing this with regular JP4.

Personally with the huge advances in metallurgy, cooling and spray technologies (along with their associated modelling) in the last 60 odd years I think this is a relatively unambitious goal.

And you'd still have to be an aircraft around it. IE an SR71 Mk II.
"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 Star One

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The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #678 on: 09/23/2015 03:09 PM »
There's a lot more to that story than is reported in the extract, but you'll need to track down the full article. Also there is a picture of the engine itself featured in the full article.

Anyway here's another extract from it.

Quote
The initial phases of the program focused on inlet performance and stability at Mach 4, which took up 95% of the early testing. Mode transition schedules were developed during tests in 2011-12, and a Mach 3 bleed configuration was created to help solve a high steady state distortion that was discovered at Mach 3. The goal of the latest phase was to focus on smooth and stable mode transition at Mach 3 and test a closed-loop inlet control system in the process. Walker says the program completed system identification of inlet dynamics for development of controls algorithms and “successfully demonstrated a fully autonomous mode transition with no unstarts.” This latest phase of testing was completed in May.
Stelr is also one of the propulsion options included in a NASA-funded Lockheed Martin study in support of the proposed SR-72 hypersonic, ISR strike aircraft. The study has been looking into the viability of a TBCC propulsion system with several combinations of “near-term turbine engine solutions” and a very-low-Mach ignition dual mode ramjet. Unlike the Mach 4 takeover range of most ramjets conceived to date, this study, together with another similar contract recently awarded by NASA to Aerojet Rocketdyne, is evaluating take-over velocity to be reduced to Mach 2.5 and below.
« Last Edit: 09/23/2015 03:31 PM by Star One »

Offline Archibald

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #679 on: 10/08/2015 02:46 PM »
He might have not been involved with Skylon, but 30 years ago he helped HOTOL to get of the ground. Peter Conchie has died on August 22, 2015
http://aerosociety.com/News/Society-News/3582/OBITUARY-PETER-CONCHIE

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