Hypersonic aircraft firm picks Pratt & Whitney for turbofan cycle

Pratt & Whitney's F100 engine
Pratt & Whitney's F100 engine

Hermeus has selected the Pratt & Whitney F100 turbofan to integrate into its larger hypersonic engine.

Securing an off-the-shelf turbine engine will save Hermeus billions of dollars in research and development costs and years of schedule.

Pratt & Whitney’s F100 turbofan, which is used in the F-15 and F-16 aircraft, will act as the turbine portion of Hermeus’ turbine-based combined cycle engine named Chimera II.

Hermeus' Darkhorse aircraft
Hermeus' Darkhorse aircraft

“The F100 is a legendary turbine engine that will fit within our larger engine architecture extremely well,” said Hermeus CTO Glenn Case. “We chose it for its reliability, performance, and because it’s currently in production. We’re thrilled to have Pratt & Whitney as a partner on our journey to making hypersonic flight a reality.”

Chimera II will power Hermeus’ aircraft, Darkhorse, a hypersonic uncrewed aerial system designed for defence and intelligence customers. The aircraft has multi-mission flexibility and is fully reusable.

This engine contract keeps the Darkhorse programme on track for engine testing in 2024.

“The F100 engine recently celebrated 50 years of service and 30 million flight hours, demonstrating its dependability and capabilities,” said Chris Johnson, VP of fighter and mobility programmes at Pratt & Whitney. “Pratt & Whitney’s participation with Hermeus’ Darkhorse programme is a great example of creating innovative partnerships in aviation and will play a crucial role in addressing our national security challenges.”




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