Author Topic: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)  (Read 420985 times)

Offline pippin

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The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #780 on: 11/04/2015 06:51 PM »
Concord had excessive operating costs (it was still lossy after they wrote down all of the purchase costs)

That's not how I heard it.  As I understand it, British Airways consistently turned a profit on it, and Air France's service was spottier but not exactly a loss leader.  Things went to pot after the crash (9/11 didn't help, nor did the recession, and they were looking at increasing maintenance issues anyway), but prior to that the vehicle seems to have been useful enough on its main routes to make up for the high operating costs.

Fromm what I heard the New York route was the only one it was ever profitable and only at these very low flight rates. Plus a few high-value charters. But that was essentially the whole market. Which was what doomed it.

I mean... I think in the end they didn't even fly the whole fleet anymore
« Last Edit: 11/04/2015 07:03 PM by pippin »

Offline john smith 19

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #781 on: 11/04/2015 09:07 PM »
A fundamental issue, both for SpaceX_R and Skylon launch costs, is the pricing of the competitors. To decrease actual costs to space you need at least two companies with reusable vehicles: one will not do the trick: if only one company reaches reusability, it will just set the price an inche below the competitor's best price and get all the market it can.
A second company is needed to get the competition you want: in a market environment, technology alone does not drive costs down. tech*companies does.
Keep in mind that in principle Skylon creates its own competitors as multiple copies are sold. Logically some will be retained for the exclusive use of national governments. Some will be purchased to supply launch services for 3rd party clients. All work toward covering the DDT&E costs of the project regardless of how many payloads each actually launches.

This is a step change in the way LV's are built and designed.

As more are sold Skylon becomes less unique and pricing strategies will change in ways that simply don't happen where the there is only one operator (who is essentially the manufacturer) of the vehicle.
"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 john smith 19

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #782 on: 11/04/2015 10:20 PM »
Automated landing has a long history.

AFAIK the first versions were the X10 test vehicle for the Navajho missile program

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_X-10

Autoland for commercial (passenger carrying) aircraft under Catagory 3b (dense fog) were being done by the mid 1960's. This was delayed in the US as bad visibility normally comes with wind shear, which the systems did not cope with well. [EDIT and which was not a problem for most of the runways that the British operated out of and needed autoland for ]

Regarding glide landings the Shuttle demonstrated 134 landings and NASA developed procedures (essentially a long, thick cable) to let the GPC's deploy the landing gear and fire the parachute (both irreversible events that were felt to need pilot control). The autoland logic had been in the code since around flight 3.

Most recently the X37b has demonstrated 3 flights with autonomous glide landing, the last after close to 2 years on orbit.

Skylon has radically better aerodynamics and mass distribution than the Shuttle and REL have stated it is designed to cope with a standard 25Kn cross wind. This still leaves wind shear as a possible issue.
« Last Edit: 11/05/2015 04:55 PM by john smith 19 »
"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 Asteroza

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #783 on: 11/04/2015 11:06 PM »
Buran can arguably be the first orbital reentry autoland (first try too! :) )(only try :'()

Offline john smith 19

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #784 on: 11/05/2015 08:26 AM »
Buran can arguably be the first orbital reentry autoland (first try too! :) )(only try :'()
Oops, forgot about them. Also AFAIK a glider and no human intervention. I think you're right they would have been the earliest vehicle as well.

Yes, an excellent point. I wish I knew what their landing condition requirements were though.

Being Russian I would expect them to be fairly "robust" (IE short of gale force)  :)
« Last Edit: 11/05/2015 08:28 AM by john smith 19 »
"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 Alpha_Centauri

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #785 on: 11/05/2015 12:13 PM »
Well Buran means Snowstorm. Perhaps that was literal, as in "can land in a snowstorm"...

Offline john smith 19

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #786 on: 11/05/2015 04:58 PM »
Just a thought.

The last IAC update suggests they are pretty much going for SABRE 4 and I'm fairly sure some of the trajectory analysis in terms of global range has not been mentioned before, although wheather it has been recently done or unknown for years inside the company is another matter.

Time to revise the Skylon User Manual perhaps?

"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 Citizen Wolf

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #787 on: 11/05/2015 05:03 PM »
Anyone know of any upcoming talks from REL? Maybe we might get some more concrete information on SABRE 4 and the engine development plan in general for construction of the ground model etc. Has BAE's involvement changed the road-map ahead in any way?
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 #788 on: 11/05/2015 05:20 PM »
Anyone know of any upcoming talks from REL? Maybe we might get some more concrete information on SABRE 4 and the engine development plan in general for construction of the ground model etc. Has BAE's involvement changed the road-map ahead in any way?

Well there's one on the 11th. I posted about it a while ago

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

, theres also one  on March 8th.

http://www.jbollerhead.webspace.virginmedia.com/programme.html
« Last Edit: 11/05/2015 05:21 PM by lkm »

Offline john smith 19

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #789 on: 11/05/2015 08:34 PM »

Well there's one on the 11th. I posted about it a while ago

http://aerosociety.com/Events/Event-List/2172/The-Skylon-Spaceplane-and-Sabre-Engine-Progress-to-Date-and-Future-Prospects
This lecture will be given by one of the control systems engineers of REL. This specialty would be particularly relevant to either the control system of SABRE and the wider control system problem of Skylon.
"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 simonbp

Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #790 on: 11/06/2015 03:21 AM »
So, I was watching this interview on CNN and the image below popped up. What is this?

http://www.cnn.com/videos/business/2015/11/04/bae-systems-reaction-engines-mark-thomas-intv-qmb.cnn

Offline banjo

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #791 on: 11/06/2015 04:30 AM »
i think it is an alternative rendering of skylon produced by university of Strathclyde engineering students.  why cnn are showing it, i dont know.

Offline adrianwyard

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #792 on: 11/06/2015 07:15 AM »

Offline john smith 19

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #793 on: 11/06/2015 07:31 AM »
So, I was watching this interview on CNN and the image below popped up. What is this?

http://www.cnn.com/videos/business/2015/11/04/bae-systems-reaction-engines-mark-thomas-intv-qmb.cnn
Interesting but a bit disturbing.

On the upside. This is a studio interview with the CEO on CNN, which is quite a step up in some ways from REL's media involvement in the past.

On the downside the emphasis on a passenger transport. The REL concept for the LAPCAT II programme is very different to Skylon.

The question is can REL turn this increase exposure into either increased funding or move them forward in forming the Skylon consortium?
« Last Edit: 11/06/2015 07:48 AM by john smith 19 »
"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 #794 on: 11/06/2015 12:31 PM »

So, I was watching this interview on CNN and the image below popped up. What is this?

http://www.cnn.com/videos/business/2015/11/04/bae-systems-reaction-engines-mark-thomas-intv-qmb.cnn
Interesting but a bit disturbing.

On the upside. This is a studio interview with the CEO on CNN, which is quite a step up in some ways from REL's media involvement in the past.

On the downside the emphasis on a passenger transport. The REL concept for the LAPCAT II programme is very different to Skylon.

The question is can REL turn this increase exposure into either increased funding or move them forward in forming the Skylon consortium?

Maybe they will have to do aircraft first & then space vehicles, especially they may go this way with BAE onboard.

Offline lkm

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #795 on: 11/06/2015 12:38 PM »

So, I was watching this interview on CNN and the image below popped up. What is this?

http://www.cnn.com/videos/business/2015/11/04/bae-systems-reaction-engines-mark-thomas-intv-qmb.cnn
Interesting but a bit disturbing.

On the upside. This is a studio interview with the CEO on CNN, which is quite a step up in some ways from REL's media involvement in the past.

On the downside the emphasis on a passenger transport. The REL concept for the LAPCAT II programme is very different to Skylon.

The question is can REL turn this increase exposure into either increased funding or move them forward in forming the Skylon consortium?

Maybe they will have to do aircraft first & then space vehicles, especially they may go this way with BAE onboard.
Except that's technically much, much harder. A SABRE engine only has to last 100 hours or so with a small fraction of that spent  hypersonic air breathing, a Scimitar engine would spend hours in hypersonic cruise and need to have a lifetime orders of magnitude larger.

Offline simonbp

Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #796 on: 11/06/2015 01:27 PM »
No, the interviewer was harping on about the intercontinental transport, while the guy from REL clearly said their focus was on orbital in "10-15 years" and intercontinental in "about 20 years".

Offline topsphere

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #797 on: 11/06/2015 02:05 PM »
Anyone know of any upcoming talks from REL? Maybe we might get some more concrete information on SABRE 4 and the engine development plan in general for construction of the ground model etc. Has BAE's involvement changed the road-map ahead in any way?

Mark Thomas and Simon Feast are both speaking at the Reinventing Space Conference next Tuesday and Wednesday in Oxford...

Offline Hanelyp

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #798 on: 11/06/2015 04:37 PM »
So, I was watching this interview on CNN and the image below popped up. What is this?

http://www.cnn.com/videos/business/2015/11/04/bae-systems-reaction-engines-mark-thomas-intv-qmb.cnn
That concept looks like someone took an X-30 style scramjet with forebody integrated inlet and aftbody integrated exhaust nozzle, stripped out the scramjet engines the underbody was designed to serve, and stuck sabre engines on wingtips.  I'm thinking with that fuselage shape you might do better with the sabre engines installed center-body where the scramjets would be, using the contoured underbody for inlet and exhaust.

Offline adrianwyard

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #799 on: 11/06/2015 04:55 PM »
So, I was watching this interview on CNN and the image below popped up. What is this?

http://www.cnn.com/videos/business/2015/11/04/bae-systems-reaction-engines-mark-thomas-intv-qmb.cnn
That concept looks like someone took an X-30 style scramjet with forebody integrated inlet and aftbody integrated exhaust nozzle, stripped out the scramjet engines the underbody was designed to serve, and stuck sabre engines on wingtips.  I'm thinking with that fuselage shape you might do better with the sabre engines installed center-body where the scramjets would be, using the contoured underbody for inlet and exhaust.

It may look that way, but it's not just an artists' impression or derived from an X-30 style scramjet design. It's the result of an aerothermal study of Skylon:

http://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/41933/1/Brown_et_al_Towards_Robust_Aero_Thermodynamic_Predictions_for_Re_Usable_Single_Stage_to_Orbit_Vehicles.pdf

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