Work commenced in May 2017 to build a significant new UK test site. This facility at Westcott, Buckinghamshire, UK will enable Reaction Engines to test critical subsystems along with the testing of a SABRE engine core, which will commence in 2020. This is the crucial step towards a SABRE powered flight test vehicle – a veritable Kitty Hawk moment for the 21st century.
The test facility will consist of a multi-purpose propulsion test stand designed to accommodate various test engine configurations, an assembly building, workshops, offices and control room.
The test facility is located in the Westcott Venture Park, a location with a strong history of rocket propulsion research, having been used to test various UK rocket projects since 1946, including the Blue Streak and Black Arrow programmes. In 2016 the UK Space Agency selected Westcott as the UK’s National Space Propulsion Test Facility and the site is now home to a number of space propulsion and satellite technology companies.
A complete engine ‘core’ that can be tested at ground-level static conditions, right up to Mach 5, and 25 km altitude.
A manufacturing and performance ground level demonstration of a pre-cooler type heat exchanger in a high enthalpy environment.
A new high-temperature airflow test facility located near Watkins, Colorado.