Revolutionary jet to take passengers from London to Sydney in four hours

Plane uses rocket technology to travel five times the speed of sound

Updated: 


A new jet engine is being developed that could take travellers from the UK to Australia in just four hours.

The European Space Agency has invested $11 million in the Sabre engine. It combines jet and rocket technology to hit five times the speed of sound and could be ready for testing by 2020.

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British-based Reaction Engines is developing the turbine and announced that the UK government has invested over $66 million in the concept.

According to the BBC, Sabre burns hydrogen like a rocket motor but in air drawn from the atmosphere.

The engine can be used for high-speed flights over long distances as well as for space.

It would take off from a runway like regular planes and could reach space without a pilot.

Katherine Courtney, acting Chief Executive Officer, UK Space Agency, told the Daily Mail: "We want the UK to be the best place in Europe to innovate and the Sabre engine programme has the potential to change air and space travel forever.

"When the UK Space Agency made its £60m commitment in 2013, we demonstrated our courage and belief in the development of this ground-breaking technology.

"Drawing on the expertise of the European Space Agency, our funding will help ensure that Reaction Engines and industry can collaborate to make this revolutionary engine a reality."

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