Mach 5 Wind Tunnel Model
The SABRE engine has been specifically conceived to power the single stage to orbit Skylon space vehicle concept developed by Reaction Engines Limited.
This engine utilises air-breathing propulsion to accelerate the vehicle from a standstill on the run-way to above five times the speed of sound, high-up in the atmosphere. The rocket motors are then ignited taking the vehicle into orbit.
Central to the success engine is the design of the air intake. A number of candidate configurations have been developed by GasDynamics Ltd. and assessed in their hypersonic wind tunnel.
The use of SLA enables the manufacture of high fidelity models which can readily incorporate the instrumentation necessary to assess the design. The image reveal the extensive use of pressure taps to measure the pressure inside the intake, a key measure of performance. The Schlerien image shows the external shock wave pattern around the intake at indicdence at Mach 5.