Author Topic: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)  (Read 421115 times)

Offline mtakala24

Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #940 on: 12/01/2015 10:59 PM »
by the way, Reuters had a story on Skylon as well yesterday

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/30/us-rocket-engine-space-plane-idUSKBN0TJ19U20151130

Having followed Skylon's progress only sporadically during the last few years, is the article a good recap or does it miss any important details/developments?

Offline francesco nicoli

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #941 on: 12/01/2015 11:17 PM »
I think it is a rather good summary but with little technical detail. Are you planning to write an article on Skylon? if yes, I would advise you to talk with John, he's the one who knows Skylon stuff the most I guess.

Offline lkm

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #942 on: 12/01/2015 11:32 PM »
by the way, Reuters had a story on Skylon as well yesterday

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/30/us-rocket-engine-space-plane-idUSKBN0TJ19U20151130

Having followed Skylon's progress only sporadically during the last few years, is the article a good recap or does it miss any important details/developments?
It misses out that the new engine design they plan to develop, SABRE 4, doesn't cool the air down to minus 150 degrees C only to 400K and thus doesn't need to bother with frost prevention while being twice as efficient.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #943 on: 12/02/2015 12:14 AM »
I'm definetively not an expert, but with a 15 T payload, Couldn't skylon carry a weapon optimized for re-entry up to orbit, and release the warhead just above target?
True, but as others have pointed out it's a very expensive way to carry out this task and if you have the skills (and funding) to do it anyway you already have the means to carry much more cost effective forms of warfare.

I meant that it that it couldn't both be true the Skylon could be successful in providing point to point transport and at same time fail to provide the lowest priced orbital launch and that the logical conclusion of success at point to point transport is in the long term development of dedicated hypersonic air transport using the same Skylon derived technology which for the reasons stated means that it really can't be true that Sklyon derived systems could prove superior at revolutionising air travel but fail to be better at orbital launch than staged reusable rockets, i.e. the statement doesn't make any sense.

Yes I'd agree with that.  REL's focus has been orbital launch. It seems to believe they would succeed at something that was not their core focus, but fail at their core goal.

It could be true if Falcon ends up cheaper at a moderately high flight rate than Skylon does at a very high flight rate.  That doesn't seem especially likely to me, but we don't actually know yet...
Good point. But let's keep in mind the Skylon consortium will sell Skylons. It's up to the operators what the launch rate is

An if the Skylon operator is truly ruthless they will massively undercut SpaceX prices , drive them into bankruptcy and then raise their prices to cover the cost of launches and buying new Skylons.
It the ruthless, no prisoner approach to the space business.  ...
Of course, if a mystery launch provider could somehow do this, then SpaceX (backed by Google, or perhaps from constellation revenue) could do the same thing.

...except it's preposterous and clearly violates WTO rules, for either SpaceX or some mystery Skylon operator. Sounds like a very good way to lose billions of dollars for basically no gain (countries maintain independent launch capability for national security purposes, so one provider will never be able to totally drive everyone else out and develop a monopoly).
« Last Edit: 12/02/2015 12:16 AM 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 Robotbeat

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #944 on: 12/02/2015 12:18 AM »
by the way, Reuters had a story on Skylon as well yesterday

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/30/us-rocket-engine-space-plane-idUSKBN0TJ19U20151130

Quote
60 million pounds ($.4 million USD)
...
Did the UK just develop a serious inflation problem?
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 john smith 19

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #945 on: 12/02/2015 07:20 AM »
...except it's preposterous and clearly violates WTO rules, for either SpaceX or some mystery Skylon operator. Sounds like a very good way to lose billions of dollars for basically no gain (countries maintain independent launch capability for national security purposes, so one provider will never be able to totally drive everyone else out and develop a monopoly).
Thank you for noticing the difference between a launch vehicle manufacturer and a launch services provider

For ELV's this is a book keeping exercise but for Skylon there would indeed be a clear separation between the two.

The "National Security" "assured access" argument led to ULA being formed. Then you end up with gradually rising launch costs because the beast has to be fed.

An  early adopter could follow this strategy but maximizing profit during the window when they are a unique provider suggests they would go just below the market floor to get business.

In fact pretty much what SX has done.

However what really lowers cost is competition, so it's what happens when Skylon is sold to the second customer that things start to get interesting.

"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 Archibald

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #946 on: 12/02/2015 02:42 PM »
This has been discussed earlier in the thread - so Sabre 4 no longer care about frost control ? -
 see below (from the patent)


Offline Ravenger

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #947 on: 12/02/2015 03:11 PM »
If I remember this correctly Sabre 4 has different combustion chambers for airbreathing and rocket modes, rather than the combined combustion chamber of Sabre 3. This adds weight, but means you don't have to cool the air as deeply, so you don't need the frost control mechanism.

It's also more fuel efficient so the extra weight is more than traded off by the performance increases.

In theory of course :)

It's deeply ironic that we finally found out how the top-secret frost-control system worked, only to find out at the same time that Sabre 4 doesn't need it.  ::)

Offline Archibald

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #948 on: 12/02/2015 05:13 PM »
Indeed, quite the irony. But if that helps them flying Skylons as soon as possible, I'm for it.
« Last Edit: 12/02/2015 05:13 PM by Archibald »

Offline Jim

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #949 on: 12/02/2015 05:33 PM »
Thank you for noticing the difference between a launch vehicle manufacturer and a launch services provider

There isn't a difference.  They are one in the same.   Space launch does not follow the aircraft manufacturer and airline COP.  And likely will never.   ILS is just a broker.  Arianespace is really an integrator (with falls under manufacturing).  And LSOC/USA still had to employ Rockwell/Boeing for shuttle integration/engineering.
« Last Edit: 12/02/2015 05:38 PM by Jim »

Offline Jim

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #950 on: 12/02/2015 05:42 PM »

For ELV's this is a book keeping exercise but for Skylon there would indeed be a clear separation between the two.


Not a given.  There is no proof that it will happen.  Skylon likely will be too complex to be operated many

Offline Hankelow8

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #951 on: 12/02/2015 10:52 PM »
If I remember this correctly Sabre 4 has different combustion chambers for airbreathing and rocket modes, rather than the combined combustion chamber of Sabre 3. This adds weight, but means you don't have to cool the air as deeply, so you don't need the frost control mechanism.

It's also more fuel efficient so the extra weight is more than traded off by the performance increases.

In theory of course :)

It's deeply ironic that we finally found out how the top-secret frost-control system worked, only to find out at the same time that Sabre 4 doesn't need it.  ::)
I always thought the frost control that Sabre had allowed it to achieve an air breathing performance no one else could match. 

Does this now mean other companies could design and build their own design to match a Sabre engine, also would this mean the pre-cooler could be reduced in size enabling a reduction in weight and production costs.

Offline francesco nicoli

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #952 on: 12/02/2015 11:01 PM »
Thank you for noticing the difference between a launch vehicle manufacturer and a launch services provider

There isn't a difference.  They are one in the same.   Space launch does not follow the aircraft manufacturer and airline COP.  And likely will never.   ILS is just a broker.  Arianespace is really an integrator (with falls under manufacturing).  And LSOC/USA still had to employ Rockwell/Boeing for shuttle integration/engineering.

there is a difference in theory, and there is a difference for Skylon according with REL own plans. You might not like them, you might believe they are unrealistic and that "reality" today is different, but then again if anything that differs from how things are done today is unrealistic for the simple fact that they are not done today, why do you even bother about Skylon?

Offline flymetothemoon

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #953 on: 12/02/2015 11:04 PM »
If I remember this correctly Sabre 4 has different combustion chambers for airbreathing and rocket modes, rather than the combined combustion chamber of Sabre 3. This adds weight, but means you don't have to cool the air as deeply, so you don't need the frost control mechanism.

It's also more fuel efficient so the extra weight is more than traded off by the performance increases.

In theory of course :)

It's deeply ironic that we finally found out how the top-secret frost-control system worked, only to find out at the same time that Sabre 4 doesn't need it.  ::)
I always thought the frost control that Sabre had allowed it to achieve an air breathing performance no one else could match. 

Does this now mean other companies could design and build their own design to match a Sabre engine, also would this mean the pre-cooler could be reduced in size enabling a reduction in weight and production costs.

It was that kind of thinking and this post:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36826.msg1449867#msg1449867

...that inspired my "buck your ideas up, China is coming" post on the last page! Just on the off chance someone from REL / BAE / ESA / Ariane is reading and would be inspired by my kick up the pants!  ;D

Offline lkm

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #954 on: 12/02/2015 11:19 PM »
If I remember this correctly Sabre 4 has different combustion chambers for airbreathing and rocket modes, rather than the combined combustion chamber of Sabre 3. This adds weight, but means you don't have to cool the air as deeply, so you don't need the frost control mechanism.

It's also more fuel efficient so the extra weight is more than traded off by the performance increases.

In theory of course :)

It's deeply ironic that we finally found out how the top-secret frost-control system worked, only to find out at the same time that Sabre 4 doesn't need it.  ::)
I always thought the frost control that Sabre had allowed it to achieve an air breathing performance no one else could match. 

Does this now mean other companies could design and build their own design to match a Sabre engine, also would this mean the pre-cooler could be reduced in size enabling a reduction in weight and production costs.

REL's achievement lies in designing a thermodynamically more efficient engine cycle and building an ultralight heat exchanger capable of the task required, an incredibly difficult engineering task built on thirty years of experimentation, and hard fought experience. Other companies are free to try and replicate it but knowing how it works isn't the same as knowing how to build it. Plus it is patented.
Also it's not like nobody else has been trying to do this, the Japanese have been trying to build a liquid hydrogen precooled jet engine since the 90's i.e. Atrex, PCTJ.

Offline flymetothemoon

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #955 on: 12/02/2015 11:50 PM »
If I remember this correctly Sabre 4 has different combustion chambers for airbreathing and rocket modes, rather than the combined combustion chamber of Sabre 3. This adds weight, but means you don't have to cool the air as deeply, so you don't need the frost control mechanism.

It's also more fuel efficient so the extra weight is more than traded off by the performance increases.

In theory of course :)

It's deeply ironic that we finally found out how the top-secret frost-control system worked, only to find out at the same time that Sabre 4 doesn't need it.  ::)
I always thought the frost control that Sabre had allowed it to achieve an air breathing performance no one else could match. 

Does this now mean other companies could design and build their own design to match a Sabre engine, also would this mean the pre-cooler could be reduced in size enabling a reduction in weight and production costs.

REL's achievement lies in designing a thermodynamically more efficient engine cycle and building an ultralight heat exchanger capable of the task required, an incredibly difficult engineering task built on thirty years of experimentation, and hard fought experience. Other companies are free to try and replicate it but knowing how it works isn't the same as knowing how to build it. Plus it is patented.
Also it's not like nobody else has been trying to do this, the Japanese have been trying to build a liquid hydrogen precooled jet engine since the 90's i.e. Atrex, PCTJ.

Ok, but since it has been done - by three men and a dog - marvellous men though they are, it is do-able, so, I figure, someone else could do it.
« Last Edit: 12/02/2015 11:50 PM by flymetothemoon »

Offline t43562

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #956 on: 12/03/2015 03:17 AM »
I was wondering what the first Skylon should be called. I hope this is not too trivial for this forum.  Given the difficulties. I was thinking of e.g.

Dauntless
...or
Indomitable

But I am sure you can do better.

Offline TakeOff

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #957 on: 12/03/2015 07:42 AM »
I was wondering what the first Skylon should be called. I hope this is not too trivial for this forum.  Given the difficulties. I was thinking of e.g.

Dauntless
...or
Indomitable

But I am sure you can do better.
It will be named "Gorm".
This is England! No pompous transatlantic traitor colony who use false latin. Tables have switched, these are not the days of the Dreadnought. Actually, I predict it will be named "Muhammed" and that it will never fly.

Offline john smith 19

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #958 on: 12/03/2015 09:01 AM »
There isn't a difference.  They are one in the same.   Space launch does not follow the aircraft manufacturer and airline COP.
Hello Jim. it's so rare to see you post to this thread.
For an ELV that basically follows the same flight path as an ICBM I'd agree there isn't.

One question I've always wondered about is how easy you could mount  warheads on a current generation LV and turn it back into an ICBM. My guess is pretty easily.  :(

"Concept of Operations" (I'm more used to ConOps myself) or "How we do 'things' with 'stuff' "  has changed over time and place.

In Europe it used to be thought the automobile would never be a mass transit device because "There are simply not enough people to train as chauffeurs"

During early aviation it was inconceivable that any pilot would have no ability to service their own engines, because they were so unreliable.

Likewise given that 70% of the Earth's surface is water  a segment of the aviation industry considered larger and larger seaplanes were the logical way to open up commercial aviation.

All of these COP's were either flat out wrong or shrunk to virtually nothing over time. People drive themselves, modern engines are reliable enough (and well enough instrumented) that failure is improbable and signal in advance and big jet powered sea planes never really happened (although I think they were rather beautiful).

Historically the bar to entry to the LV business has stopped any major shift in approach and the one attempt in the US to do so (STS) was so handicapped by funding and management decisions that it was amazing a design reached flight status and flew successfully.
Quote
And likely will never.
And that's where you start making assumptions.

BTW Shouldn't there be a noun at the end of that sentence?

Not a given.  There is no proof that it will happen.  Skylon likely will be too complex to be operated many
Now that sentence definitely needs an object at the end of it.  It's basically impossible to answer without one.

"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 #959 on: 12/03/2015 02:09 PM »
The Skylon concept presents a freight company model, but the manual makes mention of Launch control, Facilities, Range Safety and Mission Control

Does anyone have a feel for how these would be sized in relation to those needed for current launch vehicles?
Keep in mind it is a UAV.

While I might expect to have such facilities I doubt they would be on the scale of any a conventional launch system.
"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.

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