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New hypersonic aircraft designed and built in 7 months will fly later this year

The Quarterhorse could get you from New York to London in under an hour.
  • Atlanta-based start-up Hermeus has designed, built, and integrated a hypersonic aircraft in just seven months
  • The aircraft is expected to take to the skies later this year
  • Apparently, it’ll travel Mach 5.5, whisking you from New York to London in under an hour

Published on Apr 12, 2024 at 4:32PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Apr 15, 2024 at 7:01PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Kate Bain
New hypersonic aircraft designed and built in 7 months will fly later this year

If Hermeus has anything to do with it, we could see a new hypersonic aircraft taking to the skies later this year.

Just last week, the Atlanta-based start-up unveiled its first hypersonic plane, marking a major advance in high-speed travel.

Not only was the new Quarterhorse Mk 1 designed, built, and integrated in just seven months – it’s expected to take to the skies later this year.

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Since 2018, Hermeus has been beavering away on hypersonic aircraft.

However, the team’s picked up some serious speed – pardon the pun – delivering not one but two fully integrated prototypes in the past year.

Back in January, the non-flying Quarterhorse Mk 0 completed testing.

According to the aerospace company, it intends to produce one hypersonic aircraft every 12 months as the Quarterhorse program advances.

The goal is to get the plane to fly at a hypersonic speed of Mach 5.5 – or 4,219 mph/6,790 km/h.

To put that into perspective, the Quarterhorse could whisk you from New York to London in less than an hour.

The Mk 1, powered by a General Electric J85 turbojet engine, will be used to test high-speed takeoffs and landings in a series of uncrewed, remotely piloted flight tests at Edwards Air Force Base.

However, according to Hermeus, the next iteration of Quarterhorse will be equipped with the Pratt & Whitney F100 engine.

The reason for the transition from a GE J85 to the F100 is because it’s apparently more suited to the company’s future models.

It also boldly claims that the Mk 2 will fly at supersonic speeds of up to Mach 3 next year.

“The most unique and important aspect of our approach to developing a hypersonic aircraft is our rate of iteration – designing, building, and flying an aircraft in less than a year, every year,” Hermeus CEO and cofounder AJ Piplica said in a statement.

“It’s a pace that hasn’t been seen in the aircraft world for half a century.”

Hermeus isn’t the only aerospace company working on a hypersonic aircraft.

The Stargazer is a new hypersonic plane that will reportedly fly from New York to Tokyo in one hour.

Meanwhile, this proposed hypersonic jet will fly at Mach 7 and weigh less than a city car.

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