This New Chimera Hybrid Engine By Hermeus’ Could Power The World’s Fastest Aircraft

A new startup company wants to develop the “fastest” engine in the world, and it is in the form of a turboramjet that centers on a hybrid Chimera engine for aircraft. When strapped to the fastest aircraft in the world, this engine may help propel it to greater speeds, and deliver a new supersonic record in the aircraft industry.

Turbojet is a type of jet engine that uses a turbine to compress incoming air, which is then mixed with fuel and ignited to create thrust. It is one of the oldest types of jet engines and was widely used in early jet aircraft.

This is a project from a company called Hermeus, and it recently demonstrated what it has developed so far for its hybrid jet engine to fit modern aircraft that can switch from low-speed turbojet mode to hypersonic ramjet mode during its flight.

According to a press release from Hermeus, they conducted a simulated hypersonic flight test on November 17, 2022, at the Notre Dame Turbomachinery Laboratory in Indiana. The Chimera engine successfully transitioned from turbojet mode to ramjet mode during the test. “The ability to switch between these two modes allows Hermeus’ first aircraft, Quarterhorse, to take off from a regular runway and then accelerate up to high-Mach speeds,” says the company.

Hypersonic Engine Test

The Chimera engine is special because it could make hypersonic passenger flights a reality. Hermeus claims their hypersonic engine doesn’t need a rocket to accelerate. It can be used in passenger flight operations where the aircraft is reused. Plus, it can allow a hypersonic aircraft to take off from a regular airport runway.

“Chimera has a pre-cooler that reduces the temperature of the air coming into the turbojet. This allows Hermeus to squeeze out a bit more performance from the turbojet before transitioning to ramjet. At around Mach 3, Chimera begins to bypass the incoming air around the turbojet and the ramjet takes over completely,” mentioned in the official news release.

Hermeus’ Quarterhorse aircraft which is likely to fly at Mach 4 (3,069 mph) is looking to beat the Lockheed SR-31 Blackbird which is currently the fastest jet in the world flying with a speed of Mach 3.3 (2,532 mph).

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