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Son of LO
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Firstly, I don't think you should dig too deeply into the science of 40k.. It's just not a setting which really gains much by doing that. Frankly, I think people made models because they looked cool, and never thought about how they'd work, and it's best if you leave it like that.

Imperial vehicles have plasma generators, which sounds to me like technobabble, though it seems to have some of the properties of a fusion reactor. But this doesn't neccesarily have anything to do with the propulsion system.

Judging by the look of the aircraft, and the fact they all have big air intakes, I'd guess they're using jet engines for atmospheric flight. Since most enclosed craft can break atmosphere and fly in space, I'd imagine they have some way of converting the jets into thrusters and back again.

Other than that, I've never heard it mentioned..
 
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