The race to reintroduce supersonic flights into commercial air travel is becoming fiercer by the day. A new US-based startup called Hermeus is the latest to launch its venture that promises to make supersonic commercial jets a reality almost 16 years Concorde flew for the last time. However, what’s interesting is that the concept revealed by the American aerospace company will be capable of hitting speeds up to Mach 5 (almost 4,000 mph) — or twice as fast as the iconic Concorde. If that becomes a reality, the air travel from New York to Paris will be cut down from 7 hours to just 1.5 hours. To begin with the development of its concept, Hermeus has raised an initial round of funding led by Khosla Ventures, but it declined to specify the amount. The seed money will help Hermeus to develop a propulsion demonstrator and other initial technologies needed for the hypersonic aircraft. Hermeus is developing an aircraft that not only improves the aviation experience with very reduced flight times but also has the potential to have a great societal and economic impact,” said Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures.
The four co-founders of Hermeus have vast industrial experience having worked with some of the top names. Two of them worked at Generation Orbit, where they led the development of the Air Force’s X-60A hypersonic rocket plane along with also working for SpaceX. The startup also has high-profile advisers including Rob Meyerson, the former president of Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture in Kent, Wash. “We’ve set out on a journey to revolutionize the global transportation infrastructure, bringing it from the equivalent of dialup into the broadband era, by radically increasing the speed of travel over long distances.” co-founder and CEO AJ Piplica said. While Boom Supersonic, another American startup, is also working on its own supersonic jet that will be capable of traveling at speed of Mach 2.2, Boeing HorizonX joined in with Rolls-Royce and BAE Systems last year to invest $37.3 million in British-based Reaction Engines, which is working on its own hypersonic propulsion system.