Hypersonic aircraft hopeful Hermeus reports it expects to complete several engine test runs by October for its “Quarterhorse” Mach 5 scaled testing concept aircraft. The turbine-based combined cycle engine, based on the venerable GE J85 jet, is part of the program jointly funded by the U.S. Air Force in a $60 million 50/50 public-private investment agreement. From the USAF perspective, the deal focuses on capturing flight testing data with an eye toward future procurement decisions.
According to its website, “Hermeus was founded in 2018 with the mission to radically accelerate air travel. Using lessons learned from our time at NewSpace companies, we’re developing Mach 5 aircraft to connect people faster and bring much needed innovation to commercial flight.”
Quarterhorse is meant to lead to Darkhorse, a fourth-generation fighter-size aircraft designed for high-speed, long-duration trials. Part of the development program includes evaluating full-scale engines as well as environmental and thermal control components. The ultimate goal is developing the Mach 5, 20-seat Halcyon passenger version.