Chapman Freeborn blog

Chapman Freeborn

Sabre Engine could make flight time from New York to Tokyo less than four hours

The leading aircraft manufacturers are always competing to build the fastest jet aircraft types with the longest ranges.

Only last month Gulfstream announced that design improvements to its G650 jet will mean it can complete 6,000-nm missions in less than 12 hours – faster than any other private jet type.

But what if you could fly on a jet anywhere on Earth in under four hours? A small UK-based company called Reaction Engines Ltd says a space-plane could be the reality in the future thanks to its new aircraft engine technology.

Described as a potential game-changer, the SABRE (Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine) is capable of operating as a jet engine and a rocket engine, powering aircraft at up to five times the speed of sound within the atmosphere or directly into Earth orbit at twenty-five times the speed of sound.

The ground-breaking technology – an air pre-cooler – is designed to cool continuously the incoming airstream from over 1,000⁰C to minus 150⁰C in less than 1/100th of a second (six times faster than the blink of an eye), effectively doubling the current technical limits of jet engine speeds.

This could mean radically shorter flight times and significant fuel savings for airlines in the future.

The SABRE technology has received the nod from the European Space Agency (ESA) and the news has gathered press attention around the world in recent days.

You can read up more on the technology here