Air Force Taps Hermeus to Assess In-Development Mach 5 Jet for Future Presidential Fleet

Hermeus AF One concept
Hermeus AF One concept

Hermeus has received a $1.5M contract from the U.S. Air Force to evaluate the possible modification of its Mach 5 aircraft into a presidential plane, FlightGlobal reported Thursday.

The company said the contract, which was awarded through the service’s other transaction authority, is for the assessment of interfaces between “high-speed aircraft and existing communications, airport, and air traffic control infrastructure.”

Hermeus is working on an engine for a commercial Mach 5 aircraft and has conducted a wind tunnel test of an engine prototype based on an off-the-shelf turbojet. AJ Piplica, co-founder and CEO of Hermeus, said modifications have been made to the off-the-shelf engine to support hypersonic flight.

Brig. Gen. Ryan Britton, program executive officer for Presidential and Executive Airlift, said the Air Force considers recapitalizing its fleet of executive transport aircraft.

“Leaps in capability are vital as we work to complicate the calculus of our adversaries,” Britton said. “By leveraging commercial investment to drive new technologies into the Air Force, we are able to maximize our payback on Department of Defense investments.”

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