Reaction Engines Preps for Hypersonic Technology Tests

 - April 20, 2022, 11:47 AM
Reaction Engines, readying for its next phase of hypersonic technologies testing, is looking at a range of possibilities for its heat exchanger and thermal management system. (Photo: Reaction Engines)

UK-based Reaction Engines is moving in additional ground support equipment and making modifications to its high-temperature airflow test facility (TF2) in Colorado to will pave the way for the next phase of high-Mach/temperature testing of its propulsion technologies. Reaction Engines began construction on TF2 at Front Range Airport in Colorado in 2019 to validate the performance of its precooler heat exchanger technology.

“We began construction of TF2 understanding that timing was of the essence, breaking ground and becoming fully operational in less than 500 days,” Reaction Engines U.S. president Adam Dissel said. “Since that time, and in collaboration with our U.S. and UK government and industry partners, Reaction Engines has exceeded expectations and has successfully tested our engine precooler technology at temperatures up to those that would be experienced during hypersonic flight at five times the speed of sound.”

Ground tests validated the ability to develop and operate the heat exchanger and thermal management system on a flight-representative engine at “full threat” hypersonic flight conditions and temperatures of 1,800 degrees F, Reaction Engines said.

The technologies are helping in the development of Reaction’s Sabre rocket engine. But the advanced propulsion specialist said it plans to leverage its scalable heat exchanger technologies for high-Mach and hypersonic fields, as well as for a wider spectrum of government and commercial applications across multiple industries. “We are growing,” Dissel said.