London to Sydney in four hours instead of more than 20 hours sounds like a dream. But the UK is developing a new kind of super-plane that can fly anywhere in the world in just four hours.
The UK government has just invested $92.2 million (£60 million) in the technology being developed by Oxfordshire-based aerospace firm Reaction Engines. The British company is developing a super-plane and its Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE) engine system.
The SABRE engine is a hybrid rocket and jet propulsion system that could be cooled from 1,000 degrees Celsius to minus 150 degrees Celsius in just .01 seconds.
The super-plane, called Skylon, can take you anywhere in the world in just four hours, but it can also fly into space. This ability will allow Skylon to fly at Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound, before switching to a rocket mode that will take it to orbit. The 276-foot long Skylon will be able to transport 300 passengers while flying like a rocket.
Reaction Engines have planned test flights to take place in the next five years.