World’s fastest commercial aircraft will have revolutionary Mach-5 engine

  • The world’s fastest commercial aircraft is being built
  • Its unprecedented Mach-5 engine will help it hit hypersonic speeds
  • That exceeds the speed of modern commercial planes by up to six times

Published on Jul 03, 2024 at 9:22 PM (UTC+4)
by Amelia Jean Hershman-Jones

Last updated on Jul 04, 2024 at 5:49 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Tom Wood

The world’s fastest commercial aircraft is being built – and its unprecedented Mach-5 engine will help it hit hypersonic speeds.

That exceeds the speed of sound by up to five times and the speed of modern commercial aircraft by up to six.

And it’s claimed that it will use a single jet engine.

READ MORE! The fastest-ever aircraft was a hypersonic rocket plane that flew at Mach 6.7

Who is making the fastest commercial aircraft?

Aircraft startup, Hermeus, is behind the hypersonic flight lab creating the aircraft.

Their aim is a reusable aircraft that can take off from sea level, hit hypersonic speeds, and land using one jet engine.

They are experimenting with a demonstrator aircraft called Quarterhorse.

Quarterhorse is an autonomous and small single-engine autonomous vehicle that is hoped to lead to the fastest commercial aircraft.

This is significant considering the world’s largest plane, the Roc, launched a hypersonic craft but required six Boeing 747 engines.

It was designed to test the company’s one-of-a-kind Mach-5 engine and briefly hit Mach 5 to collect data.

While they told Freethink that Freethink is currently more often than not, they had something to add.

“And every day that inches a little bit closer to success, a little bit closer and a little bit closer,” said founder, A.J. Piplica.

“And there’ll be days when we go the other direction, where we learned something we didn’t know, where we fail in a test, and we take a step back.

“We just keep moving, keep moving a little bit by bit, until we will this into existence.”

And the results would make a huge difference to the world of aviation as this hypersonic passenger aircraft concept would fly from LA to Sydney in less than three hours.

Technology behind the Mach-5 engine

The Quarterhorse is powered by a Chimera engine that transitions from a jet engine to a ramjet.

It’s the ‘world’s first commercially-developed turbine-based combined cycle engine’, per Hermeus.

“At low speeds, Chimera is in turbojet mode – just like any jet aircraft. At higher speeds, Chimera bypasses the incoming air around the turbojet and the ramjet takes over completely.”

Unlike this air-breathing engine, most hypersonic aircraft concepts are powered by a rocket engine, which maks operability, maintainability, and reliability a challenge.

Using vertical integration and existing technological components to achieve their goals, it would allow the aircraft to be produced as quickly as modern aircraft making hypersonic passenger flights a reality.

And it seems the race to hypersonic is on as this top-secret hypersonic plane was captured quietly making its first successful flight.


Amelia Jean Hershman-Jones

London-based Amelia cut her journalistic teeth covering all things lifestyle, wellness and luxury in the UK capital. Fast-forward a decade and the experienced content creator and editor has put pen to paper for glossy magazines, busy newsrooms and coveted brands. When her OOO is on you can find her spending quality time with her young family, in the gym or exploring the city she loves.