Beyond the jet age? Ion engines and the Sabre engine

NASA’s Ion engine seems to promise space travel with less fuel spent so why couldn’t it be applied to transporting humans on vacation?

This New York Times article discusses a British company, Reaction Engines Ltd, and its new Sabre engine, which could make the longest distance on Earth a 4 hour flight.

The Sabre is a jet engine in this world but a rocket in outer space. It has gotten some recognition from the European Space Agency, but it seems strange to me that the British government (military) isn’t keeping this to themselves if there really is potential here. It’s not like the company has no military ties:

“We are not going to tell you how this works,” said the company’s chief designer Richard Varvill, who started his career at the military engine division of Rolls-Royce. “It is our most closely guarded secret.”

Yet, they still need to raise a few hundred million for further research – small change if the military were interested.

Filed Under: Airlines + flying

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