USAF is funding testing of the world’s fastest reusable aircraft manufactured by aerospace startup Hermeus.

The U.S. Air Force has allocated $ 60 million to aerospace startup Hermeus to fund flight tests of the Quarterhorse hypersonic aircraft. It is intended for military and commercial use. Capable of flying at Mach 5 and a range of 7,400 km, the new aircraft will use a turbine-based combined cycle (TBCC) engine based on the commercial GE J85 turbojet engine.

Founded by former members of SpaceX, Blue Origin and Generation Orbit, Hermeus plans to launch the Quarterhorse demo aircraft later this decade. It will become the fastest reusable aircraft in regular service. Its titanium construction is slated to withstand ultra-high speeds.

In recent years, the US Air Force has shown interest in such high-speed commercial aircraft, not only for military use, but also as a potential long-term replacement for the presidential Air Force One. It is not only the transport of the head of state, but also the control center in the event of a nuclear war or an emergency in the country.