Hermeus’ hypersonic Quarterhorse jet might just be the jet of the future, possibly retiring even Lockheed Martin’s jet of the future – the hypersonic SR-72 – before it sees the light of day. The Quarterhorse has broken new grounds and the United States Air Force is more than impressed. So much so that they’ve awarded the start-up company a $60-million contract to flight-test the Quarterhorse.
The Quarterhorse is estimated to travel Mach 5 speeds – five times the speed of sound – on a single go and is based on the Turbine-Based Combined Cycle – TBCC – engine, which combines a supersonic turbojet engine with a scramjet, which is simply a supersonic combustion ramjet engine. This engine configuration means the Quarterhorse would perform effortlessly well at whatever speeds – be it the relatively low commercial airline speeds of today or at hypersonic speeds that would leave even fighter jets in the dust.