Boeing invests in UK Hypersonic engine company

£26.5 million Series B funding round alongside Rolls-Royce Plc and BAE Systems. 

Hypersonic SABRE engine

Boeing HorizonX Ventures has announced that it has invested in Reaction Engines Ltd, a UK based company that designs hypersonic engines.

The Oxfordshire based company is known for its  Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE), a hybrid engine blending jet and rocket technology that is capable of Mach 5 in air-breathing mode and Mach 25 in rocket mode for space flight.

Boeing HorizonX is an investment team that identifies and invests in startups from around the world who are developing revolutionary concepts and businesses. Steve Nordlund, Vice President of Boeing HorizonX Ventures said: “As Reaction Engines unlocks advanced propulsion that could change the future of air and space travel, we expect to leverage their revolutionary technology to support Boeing’s pursuit of hypersonic flight,”

Founded in 1939 by 3 rocket engineers, Reaction Engines Ltd achieved a breakthrough in aerospace engine technology by developing ultra-lightweight heat exchangers. These heat exchangers are capable of cooling airstreams from over 1,000°C to -150°C in less than 1/20th of a second with world-leading compactness and low weight.

Developed for the SABRE engines, the heat exchangers stop engine components from overheating at high flight speeds, opening up a new era of high-speed flight. SABRE engines will enable aircraft to fly over five times the speed of sound in the atmosphere and allow space vehicle operators to react quickly to spaceflight needs.

“Boeing is a world-leader in many fields, bringing invaluable expertise in hypersonic research and space systems. I am thrilled and honoured that Boeing HorizonX has chosen Reaction Engines as its first UK investment,” said Mark Thomas, CEO of Reaction Engines. “This is a very exciting step that will contribute to our efforts to develop a commercial technology business and accelerate opportunities to further the future of air and space travel through SABRE technology.”

Boeing HorizonX Ventures participated in this £26.5 million Series B funding round alongside Rolls-Royce Plc and BAE Systems.

About Lisa Parkes 75 Articles
Lisa is an aviation and engineering journalist who has written for several headline news outlets. Originally from the US, she now calls Swansea her home and keeps a keen eye on the growing aviation industry in Wales.

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