The last time we heard of Hermeus was in 2021, when he announced plans for hypersonic passenger flights by 2029 aboard his Quarterhorse. In their relentless quest for near-instantaneous mobility, aerospace groups aim to break the limitations of current platforms. The latest development reveals the former’s acquisition of Velo3D printers to aid in its mission.
As detailed in the reports, the Sapphire and Sapphire XC printers should streamline the build process for the Quarterhorse and Chimera engines. Therefore, they calibrate the machines to handle the INCONEL 718 alloy. It is the material of choice for those in the aerospace industry given its exceptional properties.
Since Hermeus’ aircraft is capable of reaching speeds of Mach 5, construction and performance must withstand the stress it generates. They must consider vibration, temperature, aerodynamics and other crucial factors to achieve safe commercial hypersonic travel.
Velo3D equipment will make part manufacturing efficient and accurate. Checking the company’s roadmap, 2022 is dedicated to the Chimera engine. The latest news on the propulsion system is promising as ground tests have yielded favorable results.
“Our Quarterhorse aircraft will fly above 80,000 feet and encounter very hot temperatures,” Hermeus writes. “So now we move on to our next round of testing at the Notre Dame Turbomachinery Lab.” By 2023, flight testing will begin for the smallest standalone model followed by a mid-size version in 2025.
Velo3D CEO and Founder Benny Bullers said, “I have no doubt they will bring their vision to life and make hypersonic commercial flight a reality.” So far, the Quarterhorse looks stealthy and menacing. It looks like this bad boy can’t wait to prove himself in time before the maiden passenger flight.
Images courtesy of Hermeus