Reaction Engines has reached a number of high profile milestones

Initial design concept and lab testing

1989

Company founded

Reaction Engines was founded in 1989 by three propulsion engineers from Rolls Royce, Alan Bond, Richard Varvill and John Scott Scott. Their early work on the RB545 engine, destined for use on HOTOL was evolved and focused on producing a robust technical design for the new SABRE - Synergetic Air Breathing Rocket Engine.

t_2001.jpg
t_2001b.jpg

2001

First Angel Investor

Paul Portelli’s investment was the first fundamental building block in the Reaction Engines story.  The experimental laboratory programme began in 2001 thanks to Paul Portelli’s investment, eventually proving out the heat exchanger technology and its associated frost control.

Initial design concept and lab testing

1989

Company founded

Reaction Engines was founded in 1989 by three propulsion engineers from Rolls Royce, Alan Bond, Richard Varvill and John Scott Scott. Their early work on the RB545 engine, destined for use on HOTOL was evolved and focused on producing a robust technical design for the new SABRE - Synergetic Air Breathing Rocket Engine.

2001

First Angel Investor

Paul Portelli’s investment was the first fundamental building block in the Reaction Engines story.  The experimental laboratory programme began in 2001 thanks to Paul Portelli’s investment, eventually proving out the heat exchanger technology and its associated frost control.

Technology and demonstration programme

2004

First Major Investor

Nigel McNair Scott was looking for an inspirational project to invest in. Alan, Richard and John's passion and enthusiasm for their work convinced Nigel that the world needed fully reusable space access capability.

Nigel's investment began the development of a large network of shareholders across the globe. The trust and respect afforded to Nigel by his colleagues and peers allowed them to share in his vision and take a stake in Reaction Engines.

t_2004.jpg
t_2008.jpg

2008

LAPCAT

During a 2008 EU-funded study called LAPCAT I, Reaction Engines found that a SABRE variant named Scimitar would be capable of powering a vehicle at cruise speeds of up to Mach 5. This was the first major government research contract and was worth €2 million. The LAPCAT I contract for the pre cooler represented the first opportunity to demonstrate its world-beating heat exchanger design and manufacturing capabilities.

Technology and demonstration programme

2004

First Major Investor

Nigel McNair Scott was looking for an inspirational project to invest in. Alan, Richard and John's passion and enthusiasm for their work convinced Nigel that the world needed fully reusable space access capability.

Nigel's investment began the development of a large network of shareholders across the globe. The trust and respect afforded to Nigel by his colleagues and peers allowed them to share in his vision and take a stake in Reaction Engines.

2008

LAPCAT

During a 2008 EU-funded study called LAPCAT I, Reaction Engines found that a SABRE variant named Scimitar would be capable of powering a vehicle at cruise speeds of up to Mach 5. This was the first major government research contract and was worth €2 million. The LAPCAT I contract for the pre cooler represented the first opportunity to demonstrate its world-beating heat exchanger design and manufacturing capabilities.

SABRE development programme

2012

Pre-Cooler

By 2012, the company had manufactured a fully operational pre-cooler with the associated frost control systems. Following a test programme which included over 700 rig tests, the pre-cooler had been verified beyond doubt.

Following this technology verification the UK Government committed £60 million via the UK Space Agency and European Space Agency.

t_2012.jpg
bae.jpg

2015

BAE Investment

In 2015 the partnership and strategic investment of £20.6 million with BAE Systems was announced.  This represented an important landmark in the transition of Reaction Engines from a company that had been focused on the research and testing of enabling technologies for the SABRE engine, to one that was now focused on development and building capability to become a serious player in the aerospace sector.

2015-2018

New Leadership team and Strategic Investment

Throughout 2015 and 2016 the leadership team was strengthened and the focus moved to executing the SABRE programme and aligning the company towards customer and delivery focus. The appointment of a lead for the new US based subsidiary allowed the expansion of the company’s development efforts and engagement with potential US government and industry partners.

In April 2018, the company announced it has raised a further £26.5 million in a strategic fundraising by securing working with backing from some of the most influential names in aerospace and finance, including Boeing and Rolls Royce.

t_15_18.jpg
t_2018.jpg

2018

Hot HTX Test - 2018

Reaction Engines Inc., (U.S. subsidiary) in collaboration with the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will conduct high-temperature airflow testing in the United States of a pre-cooler test article called HTX. The primary HTX test objective is to validate precooler performance under the high-temperature airflow conditions expected during high-speed flights up to Mach 5.

2020

SABRE Core Test

TF1, currently under construction is a new engine test facility where the company plans to undertake the first ground based demonstration of SABRE.

The test facility at Westcott, Buckinghamshire, will enable Reaction Engines to test critical subsystems along with the testing of a SABRE engine core, which will commence in 2020.

t_2020.jpg

SABRE development programme

2012

Pre-Cooler

By 2012, the company had manufactured a fully operational pre-cooler with the associated frost control systems. Following a test programme which included over 700 rig tests, the pre-cooler had been verified beyond doubt.

Following this technology verification the UK Government committed £60 million via the UK Space Agency and European Space Agency.

2015

BAE Investment

In 2015 the partnership and strategic investment of £20.6 million with BAE Systems was announced.  This represented an important landmark in the transition of Reaction Engines from a company that had been focused on the research and testing of enabling technologies for the SABRE engine, to one that was now focused on development and building capability to become a serious player in the aerospace sector.

2015-2018

New Leadership team and Strategic Investment

Throughout 2015 and 2016 the leadership team was strengthened and the focus moved to executing the SABRE programme and aligning the company towards customer and delivery focus. The appointment of a lead for the new US based subsidiary allowed the expansion of the company’s development efforts and engagement with potential US government and industry partners.

In April 2018, the company announced it has raised a further £26.5 million in a strategic fundraising by securing working with backing from some of the most influential names in aerospace and finance, including Boeing and Rolls Royce.

2018

Hot HTX Test - 2018

Reaction Engines Inc., (U.S. subsidiary) in collaboration with the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will conduct high-temperature airflow testing in the United States of a pre-cooler test article called HTX. The primary HTX test objective is to validate precooler performance under the high-temperature airflow conditions expected during high-speed flights up to Mach 5.

2020

SABRE Core Test

TF1, currently under construction is a new engine test facility where the company plans to undertake the first ground based demonstration of SABRE.

The test facility at Westcott, Buckinghamshire, will enable Reaction Engines to test critical subsystems along with the testing of a SABRE engine core, which will commence in 2020.