Hermeus Completes Testing of Quarterhorse Mk 0 Vehicle
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This news is classified in: Aviation Supersonic Transport

Jan 16, 2024

Hermeus Completes Testing of Quarterhorse Mk 0 Vehicle

Hermeus has completed testing of its first fully-integrated vehicle, Quarterhorse Mk 0. This non-flying prototype acted as a ‘dynamic iron bird’ for the company by validating all major aircraft subsystems in a real-world environment.

Mk 0 is the first of four aircraft in the Quarterhorse program, which will culminate in a vehicle capable of surpassing the all-time airspeed record held by the SR-71. Each aircraft will progressively increase in complexity allowing Hermeus to distribute program risk across multiple vehicles and accelerate learning.

The impressive speed at which Quarterhorse Mk 0 came together is noteworthy. The vehicle was designed and constructed within six months, and all test objectives were completed in just 37 days of deployed testing.  

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Among the objectives completed were:

  • Demonstrating remote command and control taxiing
  • Evaluating radio frequency (RF) latency and ground handling qualities of the integrated systems
  • Demonstrating proper state of vehicle and Flight Deck during lost link
  • Demonstrating human factor evaluations and pilot-in-the-loop steering & controls

Testing took place at the Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC) in Tullahoma, Tennessee. Hermeus made the deliberate decision to perform these ground test operations on an Air Force base, allowing the team to interface directly with Air Force range and regulatory authorities.

“This was the first time our Flight Test team had an opportunity to work in a deployed test campaign with external stakeholders,” said Hermeus Vice President of Test, Don Kaderbek. “The more the team works together and establishes their battle rhythm, the smoother flight testing will go.”

The development and testing of Quarterhorse Mk 0 epitomizes Hermeus core tenets of hardware richness and rapid real world testing.

“Leveraging rapid and iterative design is how Hermeus will accelerate aircraft development on timelines that are relevant to our customers,” commented Hermeus CEO and co-founder, AJ Piplica. “Test campaigns measured in days instead of months or years, represent the pace required to mature hypersonic technology and field transformative aircraft.”  

Hermeus’ first flight vehicle, Quarterhorse Mk 1, is actively being built and scheduled to fly in 2024.