Boeing joins $37.6mn funding round for rocket company, Reaction Engines

By Pouyan Broukhim

The venture capital arm of US aerospace manufacturer Boeing has invested into UK-based innovative rocket company Reaction Engines in the company’s latest $37.6mn funding round.

Reaction Engines is developing hybrid jet and rocket engine technology that is able to transition from an airline jet engine, capable of achieving Mach 5 (6,174kmph), to a rocket engine used for space flight, capable of achieving Mach 25 (30,870kmph).

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“As Reaction Engines unlocks advanced propulsion that could change the future of air and space travel, we expect to leverage their revolutionary technology to support Boeing's pursuit of hypersonic flight,” said Steve Nordlund, Vice President of Boeing HorizonX.

“Boeing is a world-leader in many fields, bringing invaluable expertise in hypersonic research and space systems,” said Mark Thomas, CEO of Reaction Engines. “This is a very exciting step that will contribute to our efforts to develop a commercial technology business and accelerate opportunities to further the future of air and space travel through SABRE technology.”

Boeing joins other leading names including Rolls-Royce and BAE Systems in the funding round, continuing the company’s recent investments in orbit-focused companies.

Just last month, Boeing’s HorizonX Ventures arm also invested $15mn in Australian satellite company Myriota that is looking to develop technology focused on the internet of things (IoT).

Both Reaction Engines and Myriota joins Boeing HorizonX Ventures’ portfolio that includes a range of companies across the aerospace manufacturing, energy storage, autonomous systems, machine learning and IoT industries, amongst others.

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