Hypersonic air travel isn’t just a thing of the future.
Reaction Engines has created a new type of jet engine that can essentially allow planes to travel to the other side of the world in just four hours. The British company recently announced that it has successfully completed tests for the new rocket propulsion system and hopes to significantly reduce the amount of time in the air and revolutionize consumer air travel.
The technology is called SABRE, which stands for Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine. As the name suggests, the engine “breathes” air, so aircrafts can carry less load in terms of on-board liquid oxygen. According to Reaction, SABRE technology will also remove “the necessity for massive throw-away first stages that are jettisoned once the oxidant they contain has been used up.”
The European Space Agency (ESA) has finished evaluating SABRE’s capabilities, but further tests are required before the technology is used commercially.