It may not be too many years before the British-designed Skylon single-stage-to-orbit aerospaceplane soars into orbit. Until then we can dream on with this Herpa 1:250 scale model kit.
To achieve this aim, Alan has designed the unique Sabre engine (above), which combines jet and rocket propulsion, so that the same engine can be used for flight in the atmosphere and in space. As planned, the Skylon will have a pair of Sabres, mounted one at each wingtip.
And now you can get a model of the Skylon. Made by Herpa, it is to 1:250 scale and can - just about - be classed as a kit, as you have to attach the wings to the fuselage, then join together two components to assemble the stand. Even to 1:250 scale, the finished model Skylon isn’t exactly small - from nose to tail, the model measures some 340 mm (13.3 in) long.
It’s a pity the model isn’t to a popular standard scale, but as it’s of such an unusual subject - one that’s not even built yet - it’s both a surprise and a pleasure to see it in model form at all, and here’s to Herpa for bringing the Skylon model to market.
The model is available direct from the website of the renowned British Interplanetary Society, of which Alan is a Fellow, and one of the speakers (above) at a recent ‘space day’ entitled From Imagination To Reality. This was held at the BIS London HQ in mid-September, where, as well as discussing Skylon, Alan also waxed lyrical on one of his strongest early influences.
That influence is one that Alan maintains started him on the path to Skylon: it was the space hero Dan Dare of the Eagle, a mega-successful weekly comic that fired the imaginations of millions of boys in the 1950s and 1960s. Above, Alan holds a 1:6 scale figure of Dan Dare, dressed smartly in Space Fleet green, as visualised by Frank Hampson for the Eagle, first issue April 14, 1950.
Buy the 1:250 scale Herpa Skylon model here.
Other Herpa models - in all sorts of scales - here.
Visit Reactions Engines here.
Other spacecraft models available here.
Mr J note: Dan Dare influenced an entire generation, including me. Visit Starcruzer to read about Dan and his exploits, plus notes on his creator Frank Hampson.