The U.S. Air Force and various enterprise capital firms are making a $60 million investment in Hermeus Corporation, a Georgia-based startup. This Georgia-based startup wants to reveal the world’s first reusable hypersonic aircraft, Report informs.
- Passenger aircraft is looking to develop a jet that can travel at five times the speed of sound.
- You can travel from New York to Paris in 90 minutes instead of the seven hours it takes most commercial airliners today.
Although the Air Force’s purchase is short, it could give the set glass into the improvement of groundbreaking technology and help broaden its base of dormant suppliers.
“Ultimately we want to have options within the commercial aircraft marketplace for platforms that can be modified for enduring Air Force missions such as senior leader transport. Other mission sets like mobility, aptitude, monitoring, and observation as well” said Brig. Gen. Jason Lindsey, the service’s program executive officer for presidential and executive airlift.
The contract, awarded on July 30, covers a period of three years and sets five objectives for Hermeus, the Air Force said in a statement announcing the deal.
More about the investment
For instance, the company is tasked with building three prototypes of its Quarterhorse aircraft, testing a full-scale reusable hypersonic impetus system, and providing data to the Air Force that it can use in future wargaming efforts.
The first Quarterhorse aircraft will be unmanned to eliminate the risk of having a human pilot fly an experimental aircraft and allow the company to move to flight testing earlier, Skyler Shuford, Hermeus’ chief operations officer, said in a video posted to Twitter.
Aviation International News reported that the company has already built and tested a subscale hypersonic engine archetype and is working on a full-scale engine demonstrator in November 2020.
“Hermeus will be leveraging independent and reusable systems, ruthlessly focused requirements, and a hardware-rich program,” the company said in a news release. “These three strategies allow the team to incrementally push the envelope, sometimes strategically to the point of failure in flight test, which stimulates learning while concurrently improving the safety of flight test crew and the public.”
After the three-year development effort, the Air Force will evaluate Hermeus’ progress and determine the next steps, the service said.
“When it comes to technology, we often hear the term ‘game-changing,” said Maj. Gen. Heather Pringle, commander of the Air Force Research Laboratory. “However hypersonic aircraft and incentive systems are truly game-changing and will transform how we travel, just as automobiles did in the last century. We are excited to be part of this effort and to help launch this important technology.”