USAF Issues Contracts for Supersonic Air Force One

USAF Issues Contracts for Supersonic Air Force One. Exosonic and Hermeus—relatively unknown developers of faster-than-the-speed-of-sound passenger aircraft—recently were awarded separate contracts by the U.S. Air Force’s Presidential and Executive Airlift Directorate, learned citing ainonline.

USAF

Exosonic and Hermeus—relatively unknown developers of faster-than-the-speed-of-sound passenger aircraft—recently were awarded separate contracts by the U.S. Air Force’s Presidential and Executive Airlift Directorate to develop executive transports that could be used as (USAF) Air Force One. The former company is working on a 70-passenger supersonic airplane, while the latter is developing a 20-seat hypersonic airplane.

The contract awarded to Exosonic, which was announced earlier this week, is for the company’s low-boom, Mach 1.8 twinjet that would fly U.S. leaders up to 5,000-nm nonstop, allowing them to more quickly meet with world leaders or react to developing situations.

Meanwhile, Hermeus’s USAF award granted earlier this month for its Mach 5 airplane comes under an “other transaction for prototype agreement direct to Phase II contract” after the company successfully tested a hypersonic engine prototype in February. The company said it has taken an “off-the-shelf gas turbine engine and operated it at flight speed conditions faster than the famed SR-71.” Though performance and specification data for its Mach 5 jet are scant, it claimed the aircraft will be able to fly from New York to London in about 90 minutes.

Neither company has yet provided development timelines for these airplanes.

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