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Aerospace company Hermeus unveiled plans to develop a plane that could travel at speeds of up to Mach 5 — cut with the journey time from New York to London, from seven hours to 90 minutes.
The US-based company is working on the propulsion technology that would allow the jet to fly with a speed of up to 3,800 miles per hour, or about three times faster than the now retired Concorde.
Hermeus announced new funding led by Khosla Ventures, will allow the company to complete the development of a range of technologies for its futuristic jet a reality.
“We have to make a trip to the revolution in global transport infrastructure, making it the equivalent of dialup in the broadband era, by radical increase of the speed of travel over long distances,” co-founder and CEO AJ Piplica said in a press release earlier this week the announcement of the company’s advisers, the two men who worked with Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture.
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The Hermeus hypersonic aircraft is seen in an artist’s rendering.
The primary raw materials set to be used by Hermeus are made from titanium, and the drive system will be powered by a turbine-based, combined cycle engine, according to ArsTechnica.
“We don’t get into something miraculous,” Skyler Shuford, the chief operating officer, told Ars. “We want to do engineering, not science.”
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The Concorde, which entered service in 1967, and flew for the next 27 years, is one of the only two supersonic jets are known to have been operated commercially. The second is the Soviet-built Tupolev Tu-144, which was in service nine years, began in 1968.
Hypersonic flight is defined as travel more than five times the speed of sound and is one of the aerospace industry the most promising areas of development, partly as a result of the competition with China and Russia for military applications.
“Hermeus is to develop an aircraft that not only improves the aviation experience with very limited flight times, but also has the potential for large societal and economic impact,” Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures, said in a statement.