Hermeus has secured a $60 million AFWERX Strategic Funding Increase award from the U.S. Air Force to test the company’s autonomous aircraft designed to fly at a speed of Mach 5.
The company said Thursday its Quarterhorse reusable aircraft will demonstrate the performance and power of the turbine-based combined cycle engine as part of the follow-on award to the second phase of the Small Business Innovation Research program.
TBCC is based on General Electric’s J85 turbojet engine and will operate with autonomous and reusable systems. Hermeus will also use hardware and focused requirements in a move to execute a full flight envelope that would cost under $100 million.
AJ Piplica, CEO and co-founder of Hermeus, said the company is also using its technology for a project with NASA, demonstrating the technology’s viability for both civilian and defense applications.
With the participation of the Air Force Research Laboratory, the Air Force’s Presidential and Executive Airlift Directorate issued the award.