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Rolls-Royce invests in hypersonic engine specialist Reaction Engines

Photo: Reaction Engines

Reaction Engines and Rolls-Royce have entered into a new strategic partnership agreement to develop high-speed aircraft propulsion systems.

The two sides will also explore applications for Reaction Engines’ thermal management technology within civil and defense aerospace gas turbine engines and hybrid-electric systems.

Rolls-Royce added that it is making a further investment in Reaction Engines as part of a wider funding round. The two companies have been working together since 2018, including on the first phase of a UK defense ministry’s contract to undertake design studies, research, development, analysis and experimentation related to high-Mach advanced propulsion systems.

“We have been working closely with Reaction Engines for the past two years, including exploring the potential of high-Mach systems for defence applications, and I am delighted that we are able to strengthen that relationship,” said Mark Thompson, Director of Global Strategy & Business Development, Rolls-Royce.

“Our proprietary heat exchanger technology delivers incredible heat transfer capabilities at extremely low weight and a compact size. We look forward to expanding our international collaboration with Rolls-Royce,” said Mark Thomas, chief executive of Reaction Engines.

Reaction Engines is a privately held technology company that has developed the SABRE – synergetic air-breathing rocket engine, a new class of aerospace propulsion that has the potential to provide air-breathing thrust from standstill on the runway to speeds above five times the speed of sound in the atmosphere. The company says the SABRE delivers the fuel efficiency of a jet engine with the power and high-speed capability of a rocket.