UK Skylon spaceplane passes key review

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The United Kingdom’s Skylon spaceplane has passed a key European Space Agency review.

I’ve seen hundreds of these kinds of stories over the years. Skylon looks cool, and would be revolutionary if built. We shall see if it actually happens.



  • Blair Ivey

    Given the British history in the mechanical arts, it must be very frustrating for them to have to basically sit out the Space Age. The engine design looks interesting, but there’s a world of difference between a lab bench and flight hardware. They’ll also have to find a way to prevent re-entry gases from entering the engine nacelles.

  • Kelly Starks

    I’ld agree that SkyLon has been aronud a long time, and always getting aproval but no money.

    I found his mention of “private investors” significant. And I have heard that with the US exiting the space age – Britain see’s now as a great time to leep frog everonge and possition itself as the world leader in space travel, and by implication aerospace.

    Guess we’ll see, but at worst their space agency and investors just looking at this puts them way ahead of anything the US gov or commercials are doing in space.

    I’m not that in love with the skylon design, I think the DOD’s Blackswift, or the EELV replacement RLV’s under study look more promising – but with NASA looking likely to eiather be flying Soyuz or Orion until the 2020s – were obviously not a competitor anymore now.

    Blair Ivey says:
    >=== They’ll also have to find a way to prevent re-entry gases from entering the engine nacelles.

    Actually not. The Skylons low wing loading should keep the exause gases pretty cool. Assent would generate more heat. Eiather way the engines, especially with a little flow through the precoolers, should have no issues.

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