After its ‘State of the Company’ event, Hermeus shared a sneak peek of the Darkhorse. This uncrewed aerial system will service defense and intelligence customers. The company said this new aircraft will be capable of sustained hypersonic flight and have mission flexibility.
Hermeus shared in a series of tweets that the company started 2022 with a $100 million series B funding round and has since grown its team by almost 100 employees and expanded facilities and manufacturing capabilities. The company has major milestones like its recent demonstration in which the Chimera engine transitioned from turbojet to ramjet mode. Hermeus also updated the design for the Quarterhorse, a remotely piloted high-speed aircraft.
According to Hermeus, the sleek black aircraft is a representation of the technological advancement of hypersonic flight that has been achieved. Along with the multi-mission flexibility, the aircraft is fully reusable.
The Darkhorse has a speed of Mach 5 (3,850 MPH) and turbofan/ramjet propulsion. The length of the aircraft is 45 feet. The Darkhorse is expected to be released in 2025. This new model is projected to appear on the market ahead of the Halcyon, a passenger aircraft that is capable of over 125 trans-oceanic routes at hypersonic speeds, like New York to Paris in 90 minutes.
This hypersonic UAS is being developed with hopes of eventually making commercial hypersonic flight a reality.
Testing for the transition from turbojet to ramjet occurred last month at the Notre Dame Turbomachinery Laboratory. The two modes for this engine will ultimately allow the Quarterhorse to take off from a runway and accelerate to high-Mach speeds. Flight testing for the Quarterhorse will begin in 2023 and the technological advancement for this remotely powered aircraft will be important for the development of the Darkhorse and eventually the Halcyon.