A new plane that could shave hours off your overseas trip!
A spaceplane that travels 25 times quicker than the speed of sound has just passed a crucial milestone test.
It has an innovative new engine, and the hypersonic plane is so fast it could get you from the UK to Australia in 4 hours.
Reaction Engines, based in Oxford, have recently been testing a ‘pre-cooler’ technology that would allow the plane to travel faster than ever before using thousands of tubes inside the pre-cooler, containing liquid helium that can cool the air as it rushes past them. (Heat has been a limiting factor as to how fast aircraft can travel till this point.)
This technology could now be combined with the spaceplane’s experimental engine, referred to as Sabre which is meant to be lighter than a conventional rocket engine because it would carry less fuel-oxidant.
Plans for the hypersonic plane include getting people around the world quicker and taking people or cargo into space and back for a fraction of what it costs at the moment.