A British company developing a rocket engine that can combust using oxygen from the air, as opposed to carrying liquid oxygen like traditional rockets, says it’s passed a “significant milestone” for supersonic flight.

Reaction Engines’ SABRE engine, along with technology that can cool air from more than 400 degrees Celsius to room temperature in 1/20th of a second, could allow space-going ships to look more like airplanes than traditional fuel-laden rockets with their ballooning storage tanks.

“This is a hugely significant milestone which has seen Reaction Engines’ proprietary precooler technology achieve unparalleled heat transfer performance,” Mark Thomas, the company’s CEO, said in a press release.

“The HTX test article met all test objectives and the successful initial tests highlight how our precooler delivers world-leading heat transfer capabilities at low weight and compact size. 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.”

The time milestone reached in testing is equivalent to flight speeds of Mach 3.3, the company said, or more than 2,500 miles-per-hour. That’s roughly the speed of the famous SR-71 Blackbird spy plane and more than 50% faster than the Concorde supersonic passenger jet.

Reaction Engines’ milestone is the result of twenty years’ work by the company’s founders Alan Bond, Richard Varvill and John Scott, the Financial Times’ reported. To date, the company has raised nearly $100 million from backers including Boeing’s HorizonX, Rolls-Royce, Scottish tech investment firm Baillie Gifford, and the Government of the United Kingdom, according to Pitchbook data.

More testing is set to take place this year in the UK.

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Ahmed Rauf Essa is a business graduate from IOBM. During his education he started Telemart at the age of 23. Telemart is now considered to be among the Top 3 E-commerce companies in Pakistan and the only one to have an omnichannel presence with its retail stores & franchises across Pakistan. Ahmed Rauf Essa is the only Pakistani entrepreneur to win 7 Global & 2 National Awards at the age of 27. He has been a jury member for 7 Global Awards & was also selected as Rising Star by the world retail congress. Ahmed Rauf Essa was also featured in Forbes “30 Under 30” List 2019.