A Georgia-based aerospace startup unveiled its Mach 5-capable hypersonic aircraft prototype this week, wowing the audience with the roar of its engine afterburner.
The developer, Hermeus, stated that the unveiling of the flightless prototype allows them to demonstrate the “progress being made on hardware development and integration.” Hermeus COO Skyler Shuford explained that the company “designed, manufactured, and integrated the aircraft, from nothing but an outer shape, in four months.”
‘World’s Fastest Reusable Aircraft’
Hermeus clinched a $60 million US Air Force contract in August to flight test the aircraft, called QuarterHouse. The company stated that the test will validate its proprietary turbine-based combined cycle engine, which is “based around the GE J85 turbojet engine, and is the first in a line of autonomous high-speed aircraft.”
The company aims to develop “the world’s fastest reusable aircraft” using its untried engine.
Hermeus is using an off-beat approach to prepare for the high speed flight test program by “leveraging autonomous and reusable systems, ruthlessly focused requirements, and a hardware-rich program.”
“These three strategies allow the team to incrementally push the envelope, sometimes strategically to the point of failure in flight test, which accelerates learning while simultaneously improving the safety of flight test crew and the public,” the company wrote in August.