Hermes, an Aerospace startup based in Atlanta, has raised $60 million in funding from the United States Air force to continue the development of its reusable Mach 5 aircraft.
The aircraft, which goes by the name Quarterhouse, is expected to validate the startup’s proprietary “turbine-based combined cycle” engine and its autonomous driving technology. If the testing is successful, the aircraft would win the title of the fastest reusable aircraft in the world.
The funding was received from the AFWERX Strategic Funding Increase (STRATFI) running under the Presidential and Executive Airlift Directorate (PE). The award also includes logistical and technological support from the US Air Force Research Laboratory. Vector Initiative program manager Lt. Col. Joshua Burger referred to the partnership by stating:
“Small business partnership is recognized by the U.S. Air Force as an important component to driving innovation. Reducing risk in high-speed transport technologies, as we are doing with this contract, provides near-term and long-term benefits to both the U.S. Air Force and the defense industrial base. We are very excited to see Hermeus translate their demonstrated successes in engine prototyping into flight systems.”
With this funding, the aerospace startup has now raised over $76 million in funding since its founding in 2018, with major government institutions like NASA and the Air Force showing an increasing interest in the technology its team is developing. Hermeus CEO and co-founder AJ Piplica referred to by saying:
“While this partnership with the U.S. Air Force underscores U.S. Department of Defense interest in hypersonic aircraft, when paired with Hermeus’ partnership with NASA announced in February 2021, it is clear that there are both commercial and defense applications for what we’re building,”
Historically, supersonic aircrafts have been known for their high production cost, which is only amplified by the problems it poses to reutilize them without decreased performance and security. Hermes’ technology has allowed it to become one of the leaders when it comes to dual-use space for hypersonic technology.