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Hermeus Quarterhorse

Hypersonic Test Vehicle

United States | 2025

"The Hermeus Quarterhorse is set to challenge the long-standing airspeed record currently held by the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird spyplane."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/08/2024 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The Hermeus Quarterhorse is an in-development technology demonstrator centered on hypersonic travel - that aerial speed envelope nestled between supersonic (Mach 1.2 to 5) and high-hypersonic (Mach 10 to 25) flight. Hermeus is an American-based aviation startup company from Atlanta, GA featuring a growing stable of (largely proposed) unmanned aircraft centered around the prospect of manned hypersonic travel in both civilian and research industries.

The Quarterhorse was unveiled in March of 2024 as it prepares for its first-flight.

The unmanned tech demonstrator takes on an arrow-like shape with its extremely pointed nose section, tubular fuselage, and tapered rear. Along the sides of the aircraft are found short, swept-back mainplane members trailed by dimensionally smaller horizontal tailplanes. An intake is positioned under and aft of the nosecone assembly. Ground-running is accomplished by a conventional, retractable wheeled tricycle arrangement. A single vertical tail gin is set over the tail above the engine exhaust port.

The company has since announced that the American Pratt & Whitney F100 engine was selected to power its Quarterhorse test platform. The same engine family currently powers the F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon American warplanes.

The turbofan will be coupled with a ramjet engine installation in which the former will get the air vehicle up to speed before releasing control to the ramjet in order to reach true hypersonic speeds.

The project scope includes demonstrating in-flight, turbine-based combined cycle engine capabilities as well as setting a new airspeed performance record (currently held by the retired Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird spyplane). The program is set to include four entries designated as the Mk.0, Mk.1, Mk.2, and Mk.3, each with individual project goals. Mk.0 will be used to test remote command and taxiing capabilities while Mk.1 will follow with remote take-off and landing actions. Mk.2 is set to achieve supersonic speeds while flying autonomously under Mach 3. The Mk.3 will be used as an in-flight turbojet-to-ramjet test vehicle and attempt to unseat the SR-71's performance record.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Hermeus Quarterhorse Hypersonic Test Vehicle.
1 x Pratt & Whitney F100 (JTF22) afterburning turbofan engine developing approximately 18,000lb of thrust dry and 30,000lb of thrust with reheat; 1 x Ramjet engine of unknown make, model, and output power.
5,748 mph
9,250 kph | 4,995 kts
Max Speed
3,728 mph
6,000 kph | 3,240 kts
Cruise Speed
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Hermeus Quarterhorse Hypersonic Test Vehicle.
Notable series variants as part of the Hermeus Quarterhorse family line.
Quarterhorse - Base Project Name.
Mk.0 - Test vehicle for remote command and ground-running.
Mk.1 - Test vehicle for remote take-off and landing.
Mk.2 - Test vehicle for supersonic flight.
Mk.3 - Definitive hypersonic test vehicle for turbojet-to-ramjet transition.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Hermeus Quarterhorse. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 1 Units

Contractor(s): Hermeus - USA
National flag of the United States

[ United States (planned) ]
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Image of the Hermeus Quarterhorse
Image from official Hermeus Quarterhorse online promotional material.

Developments of similar form-and-function, or related, to the Hermeus Quarterhorse Hypersonic Test Vehicle.
Going Further...
The Hermeus Quarterhorse Hypersonic Test Vehicle appears in the following collections:
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