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    Hermeus’ Hypersonic Vision: Pratt & Whitney F100 Jet Engine’s Groundbreaking Precooler Tests Propel Boundaries of Hypersonic Aviation

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    As the world of aviation casts its gaze toward the future, a tantalizing vision of hypersonic travel emerges from the drawing boards and test beds of ambitious aerospace upstarts.

    One such company, Hermeus, is striding boldly into the fray with its Quarterhorse aircraft.

    Hermeus has once again taken a significant step forward in its development of a hypersonic aircraft by commencing tests on its exclusive precooler technology using a Pratt & Whitney F100 jet engine.

    This engine will be integrated into Hermeus’ Quarterhorse Mk 2 prototype.

    This was no ordinary trial run but the first significant propulsion milestone for the Quarterhorse Mk 2—Hermeus’ second prototype in a line meticulously designed to slice through the air at unfathomable speeds.

    The development of the supersonic Mk 2 involves creating an engine capable of managing high-supersonic speeds and addressing the challenges associated with hypersonic aircraft design.

    Specifically, the engine must effectively handle supersonic airflow through the intake and seamlessly transition from supersonic to hypersonic flight.

    To achieve this, the F100 engine has been equipped with a precooler for sea-level static tests at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

    During these tests, air is introduced into the engine at supersonic velocities, and the precooler cools the air intake to prevent engine components from overheating and to ensure optimal performance at speeds exceeding Mach 2.5.

    The data collected from these tests, conducted under various conditions, will inform the development of Hermeus’ Chimera turbine-based combined cycle (TBCC) engine.

    This innovative engine design will utilize a traditional turbine for propulsion up to high Mach speeds before transitioning into a ramjet configuration for speeds surpassing Mach 5.

    The Quarterhorse Mk 2 is expected to achieve a maximum speed of around Mach 2.5 when it takes flight.

    Speeds beyond this will necessitate the utilization of the fully developed Chimera engine in the Quarterhorse Mk 3.

    Glenn Case, co-founder and chief technologist at Hermeus, emphasized the significance of air-breathing engines in the company’s pursuit of advancing hypersonic aircraft technology.

    He stated, “By developing a comprehensive air-breathing hypersonic engine, Hermeus is laying the groundwork for aircraft capable of taking off from conventional runways and accelerating to hypersonic speeds without the need for rockets or motherships.”

    Relevant articles:
    Hermeus hypersonic aircraft gathers speed with precooler test, New Atlas
    This New Hypersonic Aircraft Will Hit the Skies Later This Year, robbreport.com
    Hermeus Begins Precooler Testing with Pratt & Whitney F100 Engine, Hermeus
    Hermeus tests precooler technology on F100 engine for future hypersonic engine, AeroTime

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