At https://phys.org/print413442372.html … this story was on BBC Oxford news this week. The village of Westcott is on the Bicester to Aylesbury section of the A41, a once sleepy place that was host to a WWII airfield. This became a small industrial estate of commercial to let units in more recent years, on the edge of the Waddesdon estate. Westcott is now home to a rocket engine test facility, an extension of the facilities that have been on the airfield site for a number of years. It is being built to test an air breathing rocket engine designed to suck up atmospheric air during the early part of its flight – avoiding the requirement of having to carry a bulky onboard oxygen content (before switching to rocket mode). The new engine, it is claimed, will revolutionise space launches, and ultimately will enable rockets to take off and land like an aircraft.
Engines for the Blue Streak and Black Arrow rockets were also tested at Westcott – back in the days when the UK had a rocket industry.