Aviation Week Reports on Hypersonics from the Farnborough Air Show

As reported by Guy Norris of AviaitionWeek.com, this experimental “concept” hypersonic vehicle is called the HVX. HVX is part of an RAF study evaluating hypersonic technologies for “intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance (IRS) and other missions that, reportedly, are undisclosed. This prototype configuration is headed for future testing and may not closely resemble what we will see landing on future spaceport runways. Aerodynamically interesting, the HVX has an “ogive delta” wing for lift at high speeds. Mach 5 is at the low end of what the design targets, and planners hope to achieve speeds of up to Mach 10.

Reaction Engines, a U.K. firm, is partnering with Rolls-Royce on the HVX power plant. The Sabre propulsion system is a hybrid jet/rocket designed for flight both in the atmosphere and in space. It features a precooler up front for atmospheric flight that “rapidly cools the incoming air (1,000 °C to ambient) enabling SABRE to operate at higher speeds than existing engines.” The main nozzle provides thrust in both flight modes, reducing weight and complexity. Video courtesy of Informamarkets.turtl.co. For details on the engine, visit Reaction Engines.