Raytheon invests in Hermeus as avionics testing begins

Hypersonic aircraft developer Hermeus continues to attract major investors, this time through a partnership with Raytheon Technologies Venture Capital Group. RTX Ventures, recently created by Raytheon, is making a “strategic investment” to help Hermeus complete its first hypersonic aircraft, quarterhorse, which is a small unmanned vehicle. The support will also contribute to accelerating the development of Black Horsewhich will serve to mature the technologies of its future 14-seater business jet, Halicon.

Hermeus started to fly quarterhorse in simulation with avionics hardware and internal flight software, he reported. This simulation, using what it called “hardware-in-the-loop”, will help reduce avionics risk for quarterhorse, testing the software throughout the flight profile up to Mach 5, Hermeus said. The tests will simulate quarterhorse real-time flight conditions, calculating the state of the vehicle in all degrees of freedom. In addition to testing nominal flight conditions, the company also stresses the system with anomalies and variable model parameters to build confidence in the software.

Powered by Hermeus Turbine Combined Cycle Engines, based on the GE J85, quarterhorse should fly in 2023, testing speeds between Mach 3 and Mach 5.

“Speed ​​is what drives us at Hermeus, and I have been impressed with the ability of the RTX Ventures team to embody this virtue. We look forward to expanding our collaboration and accelerating our vision for a faster future. », said Hermeus CEO AJ Piplica.

RTX Ventures’ investment, the amount of which has not been disclosed, joins a $100 million Series B funding round announced by Hermeus in March, led by entrepreneur Sam Altman and which has attracted new investors Founder’s Fund and In-Q-Tel (a strategic investor for US intelligence agencies).

Raytheon founded RTX Ventures to invest in early stage companies and accelerate “transformational” technologies. “Hypersonic technologies are of critical importance to national security, which is why we made our first investment in a company with such a bold plan and vision in this space,” said RTX CEO Daniel Ateya. ventures. “Hermeus’ technical approach and business plan balance near-term defense applications with long-term business aspirations and will help our customers rethink the possibilities of hypersonic technologies.”

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