Author Topic: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread (1)  (Read 691944 times)

Offline flymetothemoon

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Re: Skylon
« Reply #580 on: 04/19/2012 02:15 am »
Ok. I'll take your word for the figures. My point was to emphasise Baldusi's point that they are on to D4 now. I have also read that Sabre 4 is a very big improvement. Looking forward to hearing more concrete details about both.

Indeed. Weight notwithstanding, first, business and cattle class are possbilities ;)  Would depend on the requirements. LEO Joyride (or trip to the other side of the world) or longer mission to the ISS etc.

The provisional passenger module is designed to be re-configurable like an aircraft cabin. There are even doors in the skylon shell to allow conventional entry with an airbridge. The fixed features are the docking port and inevitably the toilet! This page shows numerous configurations including a suggested passenger module with the 40 seats I was referring to:

http://www.reactionengines.co.uk/skylon_pax.html

Offline simonbp

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Re: Skylon
« Reply #581 on: 04/19/2012 03:17 am »
XCOR plans to do 100 flights before taking paying customers, as well.

And to note, Xcor once did 7 flights of the rocket-powered Velocity in one day, just because they could.

Skylon is a bit of a different beast, as it requires fancier fuel (LH2, from a fueling station built into the runway) and more delicate payload handling (deployable sats vs. bolted on instruments). So, for purely technical reasons, an individual Skylon won't fly as often as an individual Lynx. But even if they can do the test program at about 3 flights per week per vehicle on 2 vehicles, that's still about 300 flights per year.

Offline lkm

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Re: Skylon
« Reply #582 on: 04/19/2012 11:32 am »
Ok. I'll take your word for the figures. My point was to emphasise Baldusi's point that they are on to D4 now. I have also read that Sabre 4 is a very big improvement. Looking forward to hearing more concrete details about both.

Indeed. Weight notwithstanding, first, business and cattle class are possbilities ;)  Would depend on the requirements. LEO Joyride (or trip to the other side of the world) or longer mission to the ISS etc.

The provisional passenger module is designed to be re-configurable like an aircraft cabin. There are even doors in the skylon shell to allow conventional entry with an airbridge. The fixed features are the docking port and inevitably the toilet! This page shows numerous configurations including a suggested passenger module with the 40 seats I was referring to:

http://www.reactionengines.co.uk/skylon_pax.html

You're right, a full length passenger module would be possible and would seat 40 plus a pilot. A cabin bay is 1.75m so there should be room for two more, or 16 people, in a 13m module. Assuming the galley, toilet and rear exit could be successfully rearranged.
The module though would probably mass around  10.5mt, at a guess, so it would be much more limited to the orbits it could reach and would probably best be met by a  OTV shuttle to ferry people to their destination.

Offline flymetothemoon

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Re: Skylon
« Reply #583 on: 04/23/2012 12:13 pm »

Great interview with Alan Bond I have just come across. Nice coverage of the history of his involvement from the 70s onward, the collaboration of British Aerospace and Rolls Royce on the Hotol project and where we have got to.

Don't know how old this is, but it is new to me anyway.




Offline mrflora

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Re: Skylon
« Reply #584 on: 04/23/2012 03:15 pm »
What we need of course is cheap access to space (CATS).  This presupposes economic access to space (EATS).  This will in turn lead to reliable access to space (RATS).  So, combined, we have as our new acronym:

                        CATS EATS RATS

Regards,
M.R.F.


Offline lkm

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Re: Skylon
« Reply #585 on: 04/24/2012 06:49 pm »
This spaceshow is quite old but Mark Hempsell discusses the test program in it among other things: http://www.thespaceshow.com/detail.asp?q=1203

Offline flymetothemoon

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Re: Skylon
« Reply #586 on: 04/25/2012 09:55 pm »
http://www.planetaryresources.com/

I have been thinking about these guys and their amazing proposition. They will potentially need a high rate of flights to orbit. I can't understand it since so many people keep telling us there can't be any market for high flight rate because there has never been any market for high flight rate.
 
Been wracking my brains to think if there was anything that might help them get a straighforward, affordable and regular flight rate to orbit. Would be incredible if there was something in the pipeline.

Just haven't come up with anything. Wondered if anyone had any ideas?

Offline Archibald

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Re: Skylon
« Reply #587 on: 04/26/2012 01:48 pm »
Quote

I am hoping Baldusi will see this response and let us know anything more about the 'D4' 20 ton revision?  Do you have any links? Thanks.

Indeed this is rather intriguing. And there's something else
http://www.reactionengines.co.uk/images/skylon_pax/new-configs_s.jpg

Is that a "pilot cabin" I'm seeing ? I thought Skylon was unpiloted ?
Is there some limited manual control,perhaps  only for passengers flight ?
Han shot first and Gwynne Shotwell !

Offline lkm

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Re: Skylon
« Reply #588 on: 04/26/2012 02:10 pm »
Quote

I am hoping Baldusi will see this response and let us know anything more about the 'D4' 20 ton revision?  Do you have any links? Thanks.

Indeed this is rather intriguing. And there's something else
http://www.reactionengines.co.uk/images/skylon_pax/new-configs_s.jpg

Is that a "pilot cabin" I'm seeing ? I thought Skylon was unpiloted ?
Is there some limited manual control,perhaps  only for passengers flight ?

A Skylon flight is fully automated, the pilot's role is basically that of a steward when passengers are being transported. He serves the drinks and tells everyone to keep calm in the event of an accident.
Another topic covered by the Space Show.

Offline flymetothemoon

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Re: Skylon
« Reply #589 on: 04/26/2012 02:28 pm »
Maybe they have made subtle updates. I wouldn't know. I don't trawl their site all that often. I would think probably not though. I am expecting a big update when they tell us about the D revision, although I am not expecting that any time soon necessarily.

I think they have always suggested there would be a "pilot" for manned flights, but if you listen to Mark Hempsell in lkm's excellent post above, he actually goes as far as to say that the pilot would really be more of an expert steward role, being the person versed in all procedures for normal situations and emergencies etc. Skylon doesn't need any actual "pilot".

P.S. Thanks for that link lkm. Never heard that before and it's a great interview.

Offline Alpha_Centauri

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Re: Skylon
« Reply #590 on: 04/27/2012 11:31 am »
Skylon SABRE test makes the front page on BBC,

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17864782
Quote
Key tests for Skylon spaceplane project

UK engineers have begun critical tests on a new engine technology designed to lift a spaceplane into orbit.

Will also be on the 6 and 10 o'clock news.
« Last Edit: 04/27/2012 11:36 am by Alpha_Centauri »

Offline flymetothemoon

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Re: Skylon
« Reply #591 on: 04/27/2012 12:09 pm »
Skylon SABRE test makes the front page on BBC,

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17864782
Quote
Key tests for Skylon spaceplane project

UK engineers have begun critical tests on a new engine technology designed to lift a spaceplane into orbit.

Will also be on the 6 and 10 o'clock news.

Ha! You beat me to it! ;)

Offline flymetothemoon

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Re: Skylon
« Reply #592 on: 04/27/2012 12:11 pm »
Skylon SABRE test makes the front page on BBC,

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17864782
Quote
Key tests for Skylon spaceplane project

UK engineers have begun critical tests on a new engine technology designed to lift a spaceplane into orbit.

Will also be on the 6 and 10 o'clock news.

Ha! You beat me to it! ;)


...but there is a David Shukman article too!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17851603

Offline Alpha_Centauri

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Re: Skylon
« Reply #593 on: 04/27/2012 12:16 pm »
Good going too considering I was half-stunned for a few minutes seeing the precooler wondering if I was actually looking at the right page...

Yeah I saw the other article but it seemed a bit more dumbed down.

I especially like,

Quote
"We intend to go to the Farnborough International Air Show in July with a clear message," explained REL managing director Alan Bond.

"The message is that Britain has the next step beyond the jet engine; that we can reduce the world to four hours - the maximum time it would take to go anywhere. And that it also gives us aircraft that can go into space, replacing all the expendable rockets we use today."

 8)

Just need to prove it works first...

Offline flymetothemoon

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Re: Skylon
« Reply #594 on: 04/27/2012 02:30 pm »
So I seem to finally have it confirmed then that they are only testing cooling ambient air to minus 140ish. I hate to bring up a negative(!), but surely this is quite a different proposition from proving cooling air at 1000+ degrees to those low temperatures in a fraction of a second?

On the other hand we hav been told this will once and for all prove the technology. Can anyone tell me how, without the extreme high input temperature test, we won't have a big question left unanswered?


Offline simonbp

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread
« Reply #595 on: 04/27/2012 03:56 pm »
Honestly, the bigger question (as identified in the ESA report) was not whether it would cool the hottest air, but whether it would cool troposphere air with becoming covered in ice. And that's what they're testing right now.

Offline lkm

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread
« Reply #596 on: 04/27/2012 05:11 pm »
So who thinks that we'll see David Willetts and Kevin Holleran announcing full phase 3 funding at Farnborough this July?
This level of publicity coupled with stating that they'd actually like some public money to leverage private finance suggests that it's already sown up and they're just laying the groundwork for a summer good news story for the government.

Offline flymetothemoon

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread
« Reply #597 on: 04/27/2012 08:54 pm »
Honestly, the bigger question (as identified in the ESA report) was not whether it would cool the hottest air, but whether it would cool troposphere air with becoming covered in ice. And that's what they're testing right now.

Honestly, the bigger question (as identified in the ESA report) was not whether it would cool the hottest air, but whether it would cool troposphere air with becoming covered in ice. And that's what they're testing right now.

You're right. They are clearly taking things in priority order and the frost control system is THE big thing to prove. It was only discussed a few pages ago in this thread how air is most humid and problematic down here, not at the latter stages of the air breathing mode at higher altitude.

As per their faq, this is their key, revolutionary technology:

http://www.reactionengines.co.uk/faq.html

11. How does your frost control technology work?   
 Very well, thank you! (We aren't giving everything away!)
 

Offline flymetothemoon

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread
« Reply #598 on: 04/27/2012 08:57 pm »
So who thinks that we'll see David Willetts and Kevin Holleran announcing full phase 3 funding at Farnborough this July?
This level of publicity coupled with stating that they'd actually like some public money to leverage private finance suggests that it's already sown up and they're just laying the groundwork for a summer good news story for the government.

Ahem. I have stoppped myself exactly saying this, but i do hope you're right! Although to be fair, with their requirements, I am at a loss to suggest what else it could be unless it's the best kept secret in space tech.

Offline Moe Grills

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Re: The Reaction Engines Skylon Master Thread
« Reply #599 on: 04/28/2012 01:00 am »
So who thinks that we'll see David Willetts and Kevin Holleran announcing full phase 3 funding at Farnborough this July?
This level of publicity coupled with stating that they'd actually like some public money [snip!]

 A minority government in the UK opening up its purse to this project?
The British Chancellor of the Exchequer in a generous mood?
Hmmm.

Not to be skeptical, but to be encouraging, I say that those of you involved in the project should take a page from history (Von Braun
developing the V2 in wartime; Korolev developing the R7 for the Soviet
military) and approach the British DoD (or NATO in general) an
push the SABRE engine's/Skylon's military applications...and eventually you may get civilian applications (just like the V2 evolved into the Jupiter satellite launcher; R7 into the Sputnik launcher).

 Of course if you are or you are not, you aren't saying. 
 

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