Author Topic: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)  (Read 421747 times)

Offline Hanelyp

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #960 on: 12/03/2015 03:55 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?
To keep operations costs down you need to minimize the expense of ground facilities and crew relative to the number of vehicles flying.  There will be a massive reduction from STS in ground crew for a vehicle, as well as turn around time, or Skylon will be a failure economically.

Offline Ravenger

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #961 on: 12/03/2015 04:18 PM »
To keep operations costs down you need to minimize the expense of ground facilities and crew relative to the number of vehicles flying.  There will be a massive reduction from STS in ground crew for a vehicle, as well as turn around time, or Skylon will be a failure economically.

Skylon operation would be closer to the normal airport style of working with shared facilities between different carriers/operators

The airport and facilities including traffic control, range safety, etc. would probably be owned by a separate company, with the operators leasing hangars and facilities and paying fees for take off and landing slots, like how existing airports operate.

It'll be interesting to see how mission control is implemented as each mission profile would be unique to each Skylon launch. Perhaps mission control would be run by the space-port, with the help of operator specialists and representatives for each mission. 

Alternately if mission control is only a few people, then each carrier could have one, with spaceport traffic control just authorising take-offs and landings and parking/refuelling slots.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #962 on: 12/04/2015 02:55 AM »
Or no one will buy a Skylon because they'll be taking a huge risk.

Reaction Engines and their partners will necessarily HAVE to operate Skylon for quite a while before they'll sell any.
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 93143

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #963 on: 12/04/2015 04:12 AM »
Do you think 400 test flights is too few to prove out the design?  Or do you think the vehicle's cost profile is too front-heavy for the market?
« Last Edit: 12/04/2015 06:57 AM by 93143 »

Offline john smith 19

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #964 on: 12/04/2015 07:09 AM »
To keep operations costs down you need to minimize the expense of ground facilities and crew relative to the number of vehicles flying.  There will be a massive reduction from STS in ground crew for a vehicle, as well as turn around time, or Skylon will be a failure economically.
True.

Skylon has been designed by a small team. As such the various systems are much better integrated in terms of how margins are traded off. Shuttle had something like 60 off tanks and 30 separate fluids, all with it's own little team to fill/fix/drain/monitor its operation.

Skylon has 3 core (LO2,LH2, cooling water) or 4 if they go with a hydraulic system and not EMA's (now flight proven on Vega for main engine 1st stage use).

Shuttle development and maintenance offers many lessons to anyone planning to build an RLV and NASA has documented a lot of those in various work, especially in the team lead by Edward Zapata.

I'm quite sure REL have studied most of it closely.
« Last Edit: 12/04/2015 07:13 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 knowles2

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #965 on: 12/04/2015 09:20 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).
WTO take years to sort out. You only threaten WTO when you want to kick the bucket down the road. An I mention that the military might choose security concerns over using the cheapest system. They done it before and Musk has plenty of time and money to build up a protection network inside them military like Boeing and co have done befor Skylon flies.

The formula changes as private industry builds itself up, if private industry flock to skylon there may simply not be the money to keep up another system flying.

Offline knowles2

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #966 on: 12/04/2015 09:27 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.
Now we get onto the important subject.  ;D

Thunderbird
or
Anastasia (name after Dan dare ship)

Offline knowles2

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #967 on: 12/04/2015 09:30 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.
Now we get onto the important subject.  ;D

Thunderbird
or
Anastasia (name after Dan dare ship)

Offline Ravenger

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #968 on: 12/04/2015 11:29 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.

Fireflash because it sort of resembles it  :D

http://thunderbirds.wikia.com/wiki/Fireflash

I hope the registation or serial number is 007, as it was designed by Mr. Bond.  ::)

Offline t43562

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #969 on: 12/04/2015 01:37 PM »
It's interesting to think that being able to have a name is one aspect of re-usability.   Why name something that is destroyed the first time you use it?

How powerful names like "Enterprise"  or "Ark Royal" or "Illustrious" are!  It will be sad if Skylons only get numbers.   I hope they get named and that the names live again and again like ship names do.

Offline francesco nicoli

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #970 on: 12/04/2015 01:46 PM »
Or no one will buy a Skylon because they'll be taking a huge risk.

Reaction Engines and their partners will necessarily HAVE to operate Skylon for quite a while before they'll sell any.

Of course: they plan a 200 flights test programme. MORE than practically any other orbital launch vehicle to date, afaik.

Offline Jim

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #971 on: 12/04/2015 02:27 PM »

Skylon operation would be closer to the normal airport style of working with shared facilities between different carriers/operators

The airport and facilities including traffic control, range safety, etc. would probably be owned by a separate company, with the operators leasing hangars and facilities and paying fees for take off and landing slots, like how existing airports operate.

It'll be interesting to see how mission control is implemented as each mission profile would be unique to each Skylon launch. Perhaps mission control would be run by the space-port, with the help of operator specialists and representatives for each mission. 

Alternately if mission control is only a few people, then each carrier could have one, with spaceport traffic control just authorising take-offs and landings and parking/refuelling slots.

A lot of unsupported conjecture and wrong conclusions.

Offline Jim

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #972 on: 12/04/2015 02:28 PM »

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


They very likely will be on the same scale.  Hangars, propellant storage, payload processing facilities would be the same.

Offline Jim

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #973 on: 12/04/2015 02:32 PM »

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?

You are right.  I shouldn't bother since there is too much nonsense, unsupported conjecture and flat out just wrong statements on this thread.  Much of it should be in the scifi section because it isn't reality or come close to it.

Offline Jim

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #974 on: 12/04/2015 02:34 PM »
REL's achievement lies in designing a thermodynamically more efficient engine cycle

What "achievement"?  They yet to build one much operate one.

Offline Jim

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #975 on: 12/04/2015 02:36 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?



the same.  expendable vs reusable doesn't really change the flight support facilities.
« Last Edit: 12/04/2015 04:37 PM by Jim »

Offline t43562

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #976 on: 12/04/2015 02:57 PM »

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

They very likely will be on the same scale.  Hangars, propellant storage, payload processing facilities would be the same.

Given that Skylon doesn't have to be assembled at the site or transported there by machines, is that certain?  At the very least doesn't one need a lot less people and/or equipment?

Presumably it also needs quite a lot less liquid oxygen storage than a conventional launcher might.

On the other hand, if there is a high flight rate (in surges perhaps) then one might need much more propellant storage than a conventional launch site..
« Last Edit: 12/04/2015 02:58 PM by t43562 »

Offline lkm

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #977 on: 12/04/2015 03:51 PM »
REL's achievement lies in designing a thermodynamically more efficient engine cycle

What "achievement"?  They yet to build one much operate one.
Did I say they had built one?
 I said they had designed an engine cycle and built a heat exchanger which they indisputably have done and which multiple institutions such as ESA, AFRL, DSTL, UKSA, BAE and DLR seem to recognize as an achievement worth noting and/or funding, you may not consider it an achievement warranting praise but clearly these things have been achieved by the company and praise is not a necessary condition of achievement.

Offline francesco nicoli

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #978 on: 12/04/2015 03:56 PM »

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?

You are right.  I shouldn't bother since there is too much nonsense, unsupported conjecture and flat out just wrong statements on this thread.  Much of it should be in the scifi section because it isn't reality or come close to it.

Good, I'm glad we agree to disagree. Now it would be very kind of you if you could let us continuing our "nonsense conjectures" without further poisoning the discussion..

Offline Jim

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (5)
« Reply #979 on: 12/04/2015 03:56 PM »
Did I say they had built one?
 I said they had designed an engine cycle and built a heat exchanger which they indisputably have done and which multiple institutions such as ESA, AFRL, DSTL, UKSA, BAE and DLR seem to recognize as an achievement worth noting and/or funding, you may not consider it an achievement warranting praise but clearly these things have been achieved by the company and praise is not a necessary condition of achievement.

There are many designs that have never left the factory or even drawing stage.  There aren't "off the drawing board" ceremonies, there are rollout ceremonies.

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