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Venture arm of Raytheon is buying into hypersonic jet developer Hermeus

Already backed by millions of dollars in funding by private investors, along with the U.S. Air Force, hypersonic jet developer Hermeus is getting another deep-pocketed investor. On Thursday, Raytheon Technologies announced a strategic investment in Hermeus. The hypersonic aircraft under development within the startup have defense and commercial applications. Raytheon is making its investment through a corporate venture capital group it recently created, RTX Ventures. Raytheon did In March, Hermeus took part in a $100 million Series B financing round, led by Open AI CEO Sam Altman. The company was also awarded $60 million in Air Force funding to cover a three-year period that started last summer. The investment by Raytheon's RTX Ventures will directly support the buildout of the first Hermeus aircraft, Quarterhorse, and ramp development of its next aircraft, Darkhorse. "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 Daniel Ateya, managing director of RTX Ventures. "Hermeus' technical approach and business plan balances near-term defense applications with long-term commercial aspirations and will help our customers reimagine the possibilities of hypersonic technologies."Last month, Hermeus announced on its company blog that they are testing "hardware in the loop" (HITL) avionics for the Quarterhose, which the company says "massively de-risks" the system. "It allows us to test our software throughout an entire flight - from taxi and takeoff through Mach 5 and back again," the blog states. It incorporates aerodynamics data, mass properties, and our propulsion models to simulate Quarterhorse flight conditions in real-time. The simulation calculates the vehicle state in all six degrees of freedom (forward/back, up/down, left/right, yaw, pitch, roll). PREVIOUS COVERAGE:Hermeus hits the afterburner on hypersonic prototype launch$100M in new funding has Hermeus planning for big things, including hypersonic passenger aircraftHermeus capped off a busy 2021 by lighting an afterburner on a prototype mockup of the Quarterhorse. The company says it is on track to fly the plane next year. The Quarterhorse is designed to be able to haul around 20 passengers, the company has said. However, hypersonic flights cannot take place over the continental U.S. and its projected range will not work for trans-Pacific flights without a pit stop. Thus, New York to Paris looks to be the longest hypothetical leg. Little is known about the Darkhorse project, other than it is planned as an aircraft with no crew that would be capable of sustained hypersonic flight. What developers learn from Darkhorse, the company plans to use to develop its commercial passenger aircraft, Halcyon. "Hypersonic aircraft will radically accelerate air travel and enable the United States to address critical national security challenges," said AJ Piplica, CEO at Hermeus.
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