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Past Meeting

Dr Helen Webber - Hypersonic Travel

  • Date
    18 March 2016
  • Place
    Chemistry Research Laboratory (CRL), South Parks Rd, Oxford, OX13TA
  • Web 

Sabre Engine Schematic Many of you will remember the brilliant talk we had from Alan Bond from Reaction Engines at Culham [see Event122] about his Sabre engine and hypersonic travel.

But can you believe that was five years ago!

In March we had an update from Dr Helen Webber.

She has also been on television in a programme called "Beneath the Lab Coat".

Spaceplane and its SABRE Engines

Sabre Engine The concept design of the spaceplane and its engines took place in the 1990s. Since then Reaction Engines has grown from a couple of engineers working from home to a dynamic Company with manufacturing capabilities and an active research programme. This has culminated in the successful testing of the novel precooler which enables Mach 5 air-breathing flight and cheap access to space.

Following this breakthrough the UK government recently announced £60M for the next phase of development which will be matched by private investment.

This lecture gave an overview of the SABRE engine, the Skylon launch vehicle, and the technology development programs now taking place at Reaction Engines that will lead to the first core engine demonstrator.
Current access to space (limited by pure rockets) &
SABRE: a solution to low cost space access.
The SABRE : A new class of engine
The Skylon Launch Vehicle
Technology Development at Reaction Engines
Next Steps

Dr Helen Webber

Dr Helen Webber is a Technical Manager and Performance Engineer at Reaction Engines.
Dr Helen Webber
She carried out her PhD in low speed wind tunnel aerodynamics and heat transfer studies, investigating the performance enhancement of compact heat exchangers for use in precooled air-breathing engines. Whilst at Reaction Engines, Helen has worked on the design of heat exchangers for test rig supply flows, the experimental measurement and performance analysis of Reaction Engines prototype precooler, and the investigation of precooler installation aerodynamics.

She is currently running the Advanced Nozzle Program, an experimental program into new nozzle technologies for the Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE).

Sabre engine and hypersonic travel

Mach 5 Aircraft This advanced combined cycle air-breathing SABRE rocket engine enables aircraft to operate easily at speeds of up to five times the speed of sound or fly directly into Earth orbit.

With the Pre-cooler heat exchanger and other SABRE engine advanced technology development programmes nearing completion, the next stage of the SABRE programme is the construction of a full engine demonstrator.

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