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    Reaction Engines’ Mach 5 engine is just the tip of the new aerospace boom

    news.movim.eu / TechCrunch – Friday, 1 November - 21:28

Imagine a hypersonic passenger aircraft that would cut the journey time between London and New York to around two hours. At Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound, the aircraft would complete a trip across the Atlantic in around 120 minutes. Mach 5 is more than twice as fast as the cruising speed of Concorde and over 50% faster than the SR-71 Blackbird – the world’s fastest jet-engine powered aircraft. A flight across the Pacific would take roughly three hours. Flight times from London to Sydney could be 80% shorter. Who needs Elon Musk ?

Reaching these speeds would require an aircraft engine that has never previously existed. But last week, the world got a glimpse of a new future via a project which has been germinating for 30 years.

Reaction Engines was founded in 1989 by three propulsion engineers from Rolls Royce: Alan Bond, Richard Varvill and John Scott Scott. Their idea was that in order for an engine to reach hypersonic speeds, the air going into it would have to be rapidly cooled, otherwise the engine would melt. Reaction’s breakthrough was inventing a “precooler” or heat exchanger which can take the air down to minus 150 degrees centigrade in less than a 20th of a second.

These ultra-lightweight “heat exchangers” would enable aircraft to fly over five times the speed of sound in the atmosphere. Thus the SABRE – Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine – was born. The Sabre engine “breathes” air to make 20 per cent of the journey to orbit, before switching to rocket mode to complete the trip.

Last week, Reaction Engines passed a significant milestone. It successfully tested its innovative precooler at airflow temperature conditions representing Mach 5.

The ground-based test at the Colorado Air and Space Port in the US, saw the precooler successfully operate at temperatures of 420ᵒC (~788ᵒF) – matching the thermal conditions corresponding to Mach 3.3 flight.

Reaction Engines

But this technology wouldn’t just be applicable to hypersonic flight. The precooler technology, developed by Reaction Engines, would significantly enhance the performance of existing jet engine technology, along with applications in automotive, aerospace, energy and industrial processes. Reaction Engines has attracted development funding from the British government, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the European Space Agency. It’s also raised over £100m from public and private sources and has secured investment from BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and Boeing’s venture capital arm HorizonX. Reaction is expected to start building and testing a demonstrator engine next year.

The success of Reaction Engines to date is a sign that the ‘AerospaceTech’ sector is now booming. It is most certainly not alone.

Last month, Boeing and the UK government launched a £2m accelerator program to look for new innovations in this area. Boeing’s HorizonX is backing the initiative.

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    Debian Mini DebConf in Hamburg

    Timothée Jaussoin – Saturday, 19 May, 2018 - 10:55 edit

Hey everyone :) I'm currently in #Hamburg for the MiniDebConf.

The goal is to work on #Movim and prepare it to be packaged for #Debian! Lots of work has already been done as you can see on the CHANGELOG of the project.

We first worked on cleaning up and stabilizing the #dependencies of Movim. The outdated heyupdate/emoji was replaced by a wonderful pull request by mirabilos that add support of emojis directly inside Movim.

On my side I replaced ramsey/uuid with a simple internal function and worked on upgrating reactphp/http to their latest release with the help of WyrilHaximus, which also helped to release the v0.4.0 of reactphp/zmq that contains some important fixes for Movim.

The template engine of Movim, RainTpl was also stabilized to the latest release.

Natureshadow also made a really nice pull request to prepare the Debian package and fixe a couple of small bugs regarding URL handling inside the project.

All those dependencies will soon be packaged and integrated in Debian.

On top of that I worked a few hours yesterday on the optimisation of the #database requests by using some memory caching and Eloquent eager loading to prefetch some extra information when querying resources in the DB. This reduces the time spent to generate the pages and contents by more than 50 to 75% in some cases! It can especially be noticed on the Chat page and Contacts page.

The main pods were also updated with all those changes, so you can try them on nl.movim.eu, fr.movim.eu or de.movim.eu.

That's all folks!