(CNN) — Flight times from London to Sydney could be 80% shorter by the 2030s, should a *hypersonic rocket engine being developed in the UK get off the ground.
The Synergetic *Air-Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE) engine, from Oxfordshire-based Reaction Engines, looks to be the jewel in the crown of this new *enterprise.
“When we have brought the SABRE rocket engine to *fruition, that may enable us to get to Australia in perhaps as little as four hours,” said Graham Turnock, head of the UK Space Agency.
“This is technology that could definitely deliver that. We’re talking the 2030s for *operational service, and the work is already very advanced.”
Fans of supersonic flight have been *yearning for a new way to break the sound barrier ever since Concorde stopped flying in 2003.
In April 2019, Reaction Engines announced successful tests of a precooler, *simulating conditions at Mach 3.3, or more than three times the speed of sound.
That’s more than 50% faster than the cruising speed of Concorde — which used to make the journey between New York and Paris in around 3.5 hours — and matches the speed record of the fastest jet aircraft ever made, the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird.
The precooler tests took place at a testing facility at the Colorado Air and Space Port in the United States.At such high speeds, air flowing through the engine can reach *incredibly high temperatures, which can potentially cause damage.
來自牛津郡的React Engines的Synthetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine（SABRE）發動機看起來將成為這家新企業皇冠上的明珠。