Technology has been invented that could double the speed of jet engines. This would not only revolutionise air travel, but would also create planes that could carry spaceships out of the atmosphere without the need for rockets.
The technology is being built by small British company Reaction Engines. The plane itself has not yet been built but has already been named Skylon – it is not expected to be completed for another 10 years, at a cost of around £250 million.
The Independent newspaper reported this week how the technology has been given approval from the European Space Agency (ESA), giving the project the go-ahead for the next phase.
It’s almost impossible to get your head around the idea that you could travel from London to Australia in four hours. Not only would this invention change the face of air travel, it could also get rid of the need for aeroplane meals!
Now for the science bit; I’m going to let Reaction Engines do all the explaining: “We have achieved a breakthrough in aerospace engine technology by developing ultra-lightweight heat exchangers 100 times lighter than existing technologies that allow the cooling of very hot airstreams from over 1,000 °C to minus 150 °C in less than 1/100th of a second. ”