Hermeus to Build World's Fastest Aircraft with Velo3D Sapphire Printers

The autonomous aircraft is designed to touch high Mach speeds and prove reusability.

Hermeus' Quarterhorse aircraft
Hermeus' Quarterhorse aircraft

Velo3D, Inc. announced Hermeus, a company developing hypersonic aircraft for defense and commercial applications, has acquired an original Sapphire and a large-format Sapphire XC that is designed for high-volume production. The printers, both of which will be calibrated for Inconel 718, will be used to build parts for Hermeus’ Chimera engine and Quarterhorse aircraft.

“Metal additive manufacturing is a core component of our plan to vertically integrate production,” Hermeus CTO Glenn Case said. “As we explore the capabilities of Velo3D’s additive manufacturing technology, we’ll be looking for ways to increase performance, consolidate components, reduce weight of our aircraft and minimize external dependencies.”

Hermeus was founded in 2018 to accelerate air travel with hypersonic aircraft. The company has more than $130 million in funding, including a $100 million Series B and contracts with the U.S. Air Force. It also has strong support from NASA and other U.S. government agencies, as well as funding from aerospace innovators like RTX Ventures, the venture capital group of Raytheon Technologies.

The Chimera engine is a turbine-based combined cycle engine that will power Hermeus’ first aircraft, Quarterhorse, an autonomous aircraft designed to touch high Mach speeds and prove reusability. Quarterhorse’s first flight is planned for 2023.

“Hypersonics is an extremely challenging subset of the aviation industry and at the speeds that Hermeus will achieve, temperature, vibration and aerodynamics play major factors in the flight of the aircraft,” Velo3D CEO and Founder Benny Buller said. 

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