Have you ever wondered why anybody would want to be president of the United States?
Well, if controlling the world’s most powerful military and largest economy — as well as the most COVID-19-challenged populous on the planet — wasn’t alluring enough, an aerospace company called Hermeus might have just the thing to lure you into office.
Last week, the company announced a contract with the Air Force and the Presidential and Executive Airlift Directorate to develop a hypersonic aircraft for the presidential fleet. While the next Air Force One, a modified Boeing 747-8, is scheduled for delivery next year, the hypersonic craft could be that plane’s long-term replacement.
According to Hermeus, the company won the contract after designing, building and successfully testing an engine prototype capable of boosting a plane to Mach 5. This is about 3,300 mph, or five times the speed of sound. This translates to trans-Atlantic trips taking less than two hours, but the project isn’t scheduled to go at a similar pace.
Utilizing a turbine-based combined-cycle engine, the plan is to build a demonstrator craft over the next five years, with a working plane ready in about a decade.
Hermeus is comprised of former SpaceX, Blue Origin and Generation Orbit staff. And in case you were looking for a change, the company currently has almost a dozen open positions listed on their website.