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Lapcat A2 Concept

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Uploaded on Sep 14, 2008

LAPCAT (Long-Term Advanced Propulsion Concepts and Technologies) is a 36 month European FP6 project to examine ways to produce engines for a Mach 4-8 Hypersonic aircraft. The project is funded by the EUROPA general R&D fund rather than ESA.

One possible supersonic transport aircraft being researched as part of this project is the A2 by Reaction Engines Limited. The researchers are looking at an aircraft capable of flying from Brussels (Belgium) to Sydney (Australia) in 2-4 hours, significantly reducing journey times across the globe.

To attain and maintain such high speeds, Reaction Engines Limited would need to develop its newly designed concept engine called the Scimitar, which exploits the thermodynamic properties of liquid hydrogen. The engine is theoretically capable of powering the A2 to a sustained Mach 5 throughout flight with an effective exhaust velocity of 40,900 m/s (4170 s).

"Results so far show [the Mach 5 vehicle from Reaction Engines] can avoid later [technology] pitfalls and could travel from Brussels to Sydney," says ESA's LAPCAT project coordinator Johan Steelant.

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