Military Embedded Systems

Hypersonic aircraft and propulsion in development with Air Force and Hermeus


August 06, 2021

Emma Helfrich

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Hermeus image.

ATLANTA, Ga. The U.S. Air Force is investing in the Hermeus Corporation, a United States-based aerospace company, via a $60 million jointly funded contract intended to accelerate the development of hypersonic aircraft and propulsion systems.

Officials claim the company is developing a hypersonic aircraft capable of flying at five times the speed of sound. The contract is being funded by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Presidential and Executive Airlift Directorate, the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), and various venture capital sources.

The initiative aims to partner with commercial sector leaders to accelerate their development and, as a byproduct, advance enabling technologies that could provide the Air Force options for a variety of missions.

The objectives established for Hermeus to meet in the contract include increase in the understanding of enabling technology and mission capabilities for reusable hypersonic aircraft; scale and flight test a reusable hypersonic propulsion system; develop, build and test 3 of Hermeus’ Quarterhorse concept aircraft; provide a payload integration guide for future hypersonic flight testing with Quarterhorse, and to provide wargaming inputs for use in Air Force strategic analysis tools.


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U.S. Air Force

1670 Air Force Pentagon
Washington, DC 20330-1670

Hermeus Corporation

3960 Dekalb Technology Pkwy
Atlanta, Georgia 30340