Pratt & Whitney Delivers F100 for Hermeus Darkhorse
IFA Comment: The military are on on the way to hypersonic flight
Hermeus took delivery of its first F100 engine from Pratt & Whitney for the development of its Darkhorse scaled hypersonic unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Darkhorse is following Hermeus’s initial remotely piloted small demonstrator, Quarterhorse, which is powered by a General Electric J85 engine modified for hypersonic flight. The F100 will be integrated into Hermeus’s Chimera II turbine-based combined cycle (TBCC) propulsion system, which will enable hypersonic flight.
Quarterhorse, which is set to fly in 2024, and the larger Darkhorse UAV, which is to roll out later this decade, are the precursors of what eventually is to be the Halcyon civil hypersonic transport. In addition to being a stepping-stone to refine Hermus’s 20-passenger Halcyon, Darkhorse has potential Department of Defense applications.
With Hermeus’s TBCC, the F100 will enable Darkhorse to reach speeds of up to Mach 2.8 and then the Chimera ramjet will take over, transitioning the aircraft to speeds of up to Mach 5. While Pratt & Whitney supplied the F100, Hermeus has developed other engine components, including the inlet, precooler, ram burner, and bypass system.