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TimberWolf
27th April 2012, 14:06
BBC News - Key tests for Skylon spaceplane project (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17864782)

Needs more funding.

Still, if anyone can come up with a way of doing clever things on a shoe string it's the British.

Way more sensible to use the air to advantage rather than trying to escape it as fast as possible as with conventional rocketeering. Not only does the air contain half the fuel, but it provides a reaction mass too, i.e. normal jet engines can squirt air picked up out the back rather than squirt their own contents out, which they have to carry greatly adding to the weight again. If I were a passenger I'd feel safer in a rocket glider piggybacked on top of a conventional(ish) jet though.

Scoobos
27th April 2012, 15:29
This stuff blows my mind, it really does !

Despite all the negative stuff we heap on the UK, we really do seem to still produce some great inventors / scientists etc.

TimberWolf
27th April 2012, 16:14
Jet engine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jet_engine)

Scroll down to "Consumption of fuel or propellant"

Interesting variation of specific impulse in that table.

Yeah basically rockets = suck on fuel consumption. They get more efficient at speed though, when it's all a bit late. Most of their energy ends up in the exhaust until that time.

An air ejecting engine will also be most fuel efficient when it leaves the air behind it stationary wtr the ground, so that all the energy went in to moving the aircraft, which is impossible at 100% efficiency. A high volume of slow moving air would need to be ejected at slow speeds, and a lesser volume of higher speed air for higher speeds.

TimberWolf
27th April 2012, 16:17
This stuff blows my mind, it really does !

Despite all the negative stuff we heap on the UK, we really do seem to still produce some great inventors / scientists etc.

Yep, we can come up with a revolutionary new ideas but then use square windows. Bit unlucky that perhaps.

TimberWolf
27th April 2012, 16:43
http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/59895000/jpg/_59895264_sk1.jpg

What's that woman doing back there anyway?

AtW
27th April 2012, 16:49
What's that woman doing back there anyway?

Rubbing it to keep the engine clean?

centurian
27th April 2012, 19:32
I thought the concept being this sounded a bit familar - and sure enough, after consulting the all knowing oracle that is Wikipedia, this project is derived from the HOTOL project in the 1980's

OwlHoot
28th April 2012, 07:08
http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/59895000/jpg/_59895264_sk1.jpg

What's that woman doing back there anyway?

Looks like Dyson are researching a new jumbo sized hoover, and she's testing replacing the hoover bag.

TimberWolf
28th April 2012, 18:03
And when you're done reading what the Brits can manage with a bit of string and duct tape, here's what the Yanks are working on.

http://www.niac.usra.edu/files/studies/final_report/355Bogar.pdf

Big boys technology.

Basically a space elevator, but the elevator is a cable say 600 km long that spins, with the lower tip reaching down to 100 km from the surface of the Earth. Closing speed (the tip rotates counter to its orbital path) is about 3.5 km/s, which is half what is otherwise needed to get in to orbit. The payload latches on and gets slung into orbit. It can also be used in reverse for landing, and would be even more practical on the Moon.


The fundamental conclusion of the Phase I HASTOL study effort is that the concept is technically feasible ... No show-stoppers have been uncovered. Hence, all elements of the concept are in place for further development and refinement of the concept.

What are you standing around for. Go!

d000hg
28th April 2012, 18:54
Um, is it called SABRE after this book about the exact same thing?

http://www.amazon.com/Sabre-James-Follett/dp/B000S5GWIG/

http://images.bidorbuy.co.za/user_images/853/1473853_110424221153_IMG_0024.jpg

Or did the project exist before the late 90s?