Skylon is a design for a spaceplane by the British Company Reaction Engines Limited (REL). It uses SABRE, a combined –cycle, air breathing rocket engine to reach orbit in a single stage. A fleet of vehicles in envisaged aiming for re-usability of more than 200 times. In paper studies, the costs per kg of payload are hoped to be lowered from £15,000/kg to £650/kg.The vehicle design is for a hydrogen powered aircraft that would take off from
The vehicle design is for a hydrogen powered aircraft that would take off from conventional runway, and accelerate to Mach 5.4 at 16 miles using atmospheric air before switching the engines to use the internal liquid oxygen supply to take it to orbit.
During re-entry the relatively light vehicle would fly back through the atmosphere and land back at the runway, with its skin protected by a ceramic composite. Preproduction prototype of the Skylon could be flying by 2016: proposed route would be a suborbital flight between the Guiana Space Centre and the North European Aerospace Test range located in Northern Sweden.
To develop a process for well adhered and precision thickness plating to facilitate hermetic liquid phase bonding.