“Precooler” Key to Success of Skylon Spaceplane

Skylon space shuttle just ten years away
Cosmos Magazine

Reaction Engines said that a key part of the technology is the ‘precooler’ they have developed.

At very high speeds, air entering the engines can reach 1000 ºC, but must be cooled before it can be compressed and pumped into the combustion chamber.

Working something like a car radiator, the precooler contains a fine network of cooling tubes that near instantly chills the searing hot gas to minus 130 ºC.

The small size and jet engine technology would mean that the Skylon doesn’t suffer from many if the safety risks and noise pollution issues of conventional rockets, so it could even be launched in populated areas. “I would say that we could have a Skylon plane leaving [London’s] Heathrow airport sometime during this century,” said Bond.

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