Reaction Engines

Reaction Engines

Reaction Engines Ltd is a company working on hypersonic and space access propulsion.

Reaction Engines Ltd is a company working on hypersonic and space access propulsion.

Reaction Engines is a UK-based company formed in 1989 to design and develop the technologies needed for a new class of innovative hypersonic propulsion system - the Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRETM).

Reaction Engines is developing ultra-lightweight heat exchangers. Developed for our high speed SABRE engines, the heat exchangers stop engine components from overheating at high flight speeds.

In addition to the SABRE development programme, Reaction Engines offers a unique and extensive range of capabilities, from propulsion systems and advanced heat exchanger design and development, through to advanced manufacturing, precision machining and fabrication.

"As Reaction Engines unlocks advanced propulsion that could change the future of air and space travel, we expect to leverage their revolutionary technology to support Boeing's pursuit of hypersonic flight."

Timeline

May 2019

Hot HTX Test

Reaction Engines Inc., (U.S. subsidiary) in collaboration with the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will conduct high-temperature airflow testing in the United States of a pre-cooler test article called HTX. The primary HTX test objective is to validate precooler performance under the high-temperature airflow conditions expected during high-speed flights up to Mach 5. These tests have commenced and initial results to Mach 3.3 have been recorded.

April 2018

In April 2018, the company announced it has raised a further £26.5 million in a strategic fundraising by securing working with backing from some of the most influential names in aerospace and finance, including Boeing and Rolls Royce.

April 2018

Reaction Engines raises a $37,300,000 series B round from Boeing Horizon X Ventures and BAE Systems.

May 2016

New Leadership team and Strategic Investment

Throughout 2015 and 2016 the leadership team was strengthened and the focus moved to executing the SABRE programme and aligning the company towards customer and delivery focus. The appointment of a lead for the new US based subsidiary allowed the expansion of the company’s development efforts and engagement with potential US government and industry partners.

In April 2018, the company announced it has raised a further £26.5 million in a strategic fundraising by securing working with backing from some of the most influential names in aerospace and finance, including Boeing and Rolls Royce.

November 2015

Reaction Engines raises a $23,000,000 corporate funding round from BAE Systems.

2015

We are supported by a £60m funding commitment from the UK Government via the UK Space Agency and the European Space Agency and received a minority investment of £20.6m from BAE Systems in 2015.

July 2012

Reaction Engines raises a $67,500,000 grant.

May 2012

Pre-Cooler

By 2012, the company had manufactured a fully operational pre-cooler with the associated frost control systems. Following a test programme which included over 700 rig tests, the pre-cooler had been verified beyond doubt.

Following this technology verification the UK Government committed £60 million via the UK Space Agency and European Space Agency.

May 2008

LAPCAT

During a 2008 EU-funded study called LAPCAT I, Reaction Engines found that a SABRE variant named Scimitar would be capable of powering a vehicle at cruise speeds of up to Mach 5. This was the first major government research contract and was worth €2 million. The LAPCAT I contract for the pre cooler represented the first opportunity to demonstrate its world-beating heat exchanger design and manufacturing capabilities.

May 2004

First Major Investor

Nigel McNair Scott was looking for an inspirational project to invest in. Alan, Richard and John's passion and enthusiasm for their work convinced Nigel that the world needed fully reusable space access capability.

Nigel's investment began the development of a large network of shareholders across the globe. The trust and respect afforded to Nigel by his colleagues and peers allowed them to share in his vision and take a stake in Reaction Engines.

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Funding rounds

Funding round
Description
Funding type
Funding round amount (USD)
Funding round date
Investment
Reaction Engines, Grant Funding, July 2012

Reaction Engines awarded $67.5 million in grant funding.

Grant (money)
67,500,000
July 2012
Reaction Engines Series B round, April 2018

Series B round
37,300,000
April 2018
BAE Systems
Boeing Horizon X Ventures
Reaction Engines Corporate funding round, November 2015

Corporate funding round
23,000,000
November 2015
BAE Systems
3 Results
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People

Name
Role
LinkedIn

David McNair Scott

Non-Executive Director

Jonathan Hale

Non-Executive Director

Mark Thomas

Chief Executive Director

Michael Christie

Strategy Director

Nigel McNair Scott

Chairman

Tom Scrope

Chief Financial Officer

Further reading

Title
Author
Link
Type
Date

Documentaries, videos and podcasts

Title
Date
Link

Reaction Engines at New Scientist Live 2018

Skylon...precooler a rocket engine tests

Skylon...Richard Varvill Reaction Engines Talks Sabre.

Companies

Company
CEO
Location
Products/Services

News

Title
Author
Date
Publisher
Description
Daniel Oberhaus
June 26, 2020
Wired
This theoretical engine could drastically reduce the cost of getting to space. Now two companies are trying to make it real.
Mike Butcher
November 1, 2019
TechCrunch
Imagine a hypersonic passenger aircraft that would cut the journey time between London and New York to around two hours. At Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound, the aircraft would complete a trip across the Atlantic in around 120 minutes. Mach 5 is more than twice as fast as the cruising speed of Concorde [...]
Eric Berger
October 25, 2019
Ars Technica
"Small satellites will play a crucial role in science and exploration."
Humza Aamir
October 1, 2019
TechSpot
By 2030, hypersonic flights could potentially let people travel from the UK to New York in an hour or reach Australia in four hours. That's the ambition set by the UK and Australia's space agencies as they recently signed up...

References

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