The reusable launch vehicle (RLV) concept has now been partially demonstrated for big conventional rockets, but sustainable reusability is still awaited.

The Swala RLV has sustainable reusability. This means it is able to price its payloads well below any rivals.

The Business Plan has 2 Stages:


Stage 1 at the West Wales Airport, Aberporth:

This stage uses a 1:10 scale Swala launch vehicle to demonstrate the feasibility of the concept and to provide data for a Proof of Concept document.

This will in turn, form the core of the prospectus for the IPO of Swala Aerospace plc. (See artist’s impression below)

The 'Baby Swala' just before jettisoning the ramjets over the North Sea

Stage 2 at Machrihanish Airport, Campeltown, Scotland: 

This is the full-scale operation using the 3km long taxiway there.


  1. A linear motor launch track on the taxiway; a delta-winged space-plane, the Swala RLV, mounted on a carriage on this track

    Stage 1 - take-off

  2. A ramjet under each wing, to take it to +/- 30km and perhaps as much as Mach 5

    Stage 2 - ramjets boost

  3. The ramjets are detachable and are parachuted back into the sea (as with the Space Shuttle solid fuel boosters)

    Stage 3 - ramjets jettisoned

  4. A solid fuel main motor to take it to low earth orbit and cold gas or hydrazine thrusters for precise positioning as used on the International Space Station

    Stage 4 - solid fuel motor to LEO

  5. The payload being placed into orbit

    Sage 5 - payload dropped

  6. Re-entry drawing on space shuttle experience, but probably using high temperature alloys in place of heat shielding because of the vehicle’s low ballistic coefficient


  7. Landing by gliding back onto the launch or similar carriage speeding down the linear motor track, using systems developed for autonomous landings on aircraft carriers.

    7 stages of Swala Flight

Artist's impression: Swala taking off from a linear motor track
Artist’s impression: Swala taking off from a linear motor track

The Key Financials
of the
Commercial Prototype

Construction cost:
about £90m

Construction and commissioning:
18 to 24 months

Payload mass:

Cost per launch:
about £.5m depending on the market, with a $3 000 payload charge
(about half the current cost).

could be >30% over the first ten years.