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Past Meeting

Alan Bond - Space 15 minutes, Australia 4 hours


SKYLON In Flight
SKYLON image created by Adrian Mann
Alan Bond, Managing Director of Reaction Engines based at Culham Science Centre, told us about hypersonic propulsion research in Oxfordshire.

We learned how and when this could see us flying to Australia in only 4 hours.

Alans talk covered:

SABRE engine
Sabre engine
History of reusable launch vehicles (RLVs)
Single-stage-to-orbit vehicles & spaceplanes
The BAe/RR HOTOL spaceplane
The SKYLON spaceplane
The SABRE engine
Heat exchangers and future innovations
Hypersonic terrestrial transport

Reaction Engines Limited

The "Horizontal Take Off and Landing (HOTOL) project"

BAe/RR HOTOL spaceplane
BAe/RR HOTOL spaceplane
was supported in the late 1980s by approximately 2M of UK government money and contributions from the industrial partners, British Aerospace and Rolls Royce.

Rolls Royce, however, subsequently made a strategic decision to withdraw from the hypersonic and launcher propulsion field to concentrate their efforts on gas turbine and turbofan design.


Alan Bond Alan Bond began studies to devise an engine cycle superior to the original, which was not covered by the patents held by Rolls Royce. This engine eventually evolved into the SABRE engine on SKYLON.

Reaction Engines Ltd was formed in August 1989 by Bond and the principal two engineers from Rolls Royce behind the RB545 programme, John Scott-Scott and Richard Varvill. Read more...

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