The test took place at Reaction Engines’ facility at the United States’ Colorado Air and Space Port. They were the first phase of an extensive trial program, which will eventually see the precooler exposed to temperatures hotter than 1,000 degrees Celsius – the conditions expected during Mach 5 hypersonic flight.
In space rocket mode, the engines are being designed to speed a craft up to Mach 25.
Over the last four years, Reaction Engines has secured more than £100 million ($130 million) in investment from backers including BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, and Boeing’s venture capital arm. The firm has also received a £60 million ($78 million) funding commitment from the U.K. Government.
Mark Thomas, Reaction Engines CEO, said in a press release Monday that the results were unparalleled and a “hugely significant milestone.”
“This provides an important validation of our heat exchanger and thermal management technology portfolio, which has application across emerging areas such as very high-speed flight, hybrid electric aviation and integrated vehicle thermal management,” he said.