I'm Happy Hermeus Let Me Upload This

Key insights


Hermas' documentary on their advanced aerospace engineering projects, particularly focused on the "Quarter Horse" series aircraft, reveals significant insights into cutting-edge flight dynamics, aerodynamics, and aircraft design optimization for high-speed travel.


Joe Shonan, Hermas' Principal Flight Dynamics Engineer, has an extensive background in structural dynamics, high-speed systems, flight dynamics, and wind tunnel testing, contributing to the meticulous design and performance optimization of Hermas' aircraft.


The engineering challenges of transitioning from missile to aircraft design are highlighted, emphasizing the complexity of designing for a wide range of speeds and the asymmetries of aircraft compared to missiles, particularly in the subsonic to supersonic transition.


Innovative solutions for aerodynamic optimization are discussed, including the use of CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) for advanced aerodynamic analysis and the importance of both static and dynamic aerodynamic coefficients in aircraft design.


Wind tunnel testing plays a critical role in validating CFD models and understanding aerodynamic behavior, but it's recognized that these tests cannot fully replicate the complexities of actual flight conditions, highlighting the importance of flight testing.


Discussions around aircraft configuration, such as the presence of horizontal stabilizers and the exploration of delta wing designs, underscore the balance between aerodynamic efficiency, control, and the overall performance of high-speed aircraft.


Thermal management and material selection, particularly the use of Inconel and titanium, are crucial for sustaining high-speed flight, emphasizing the challenges of designing aircraft capable of enduring extreme aerothermal stresses.


The choice of aircraft paint color, influenced by thermal emissivity considerations, reflects the nuanced decisions required to manage aerothermal heating, with potential for high-emissivity white paints offering an alternative to traditional black coatings for high-speed aircraft.


The feasibility of long-haul flights at Mach 5, such as transatlantic crossings, is considered achievable, though transpacific flights present significant challenges due to the immense distances and fuel requirements.


The creative aspects of aerospace engineering are celebrated, with a particular highlight on trajectory optimization and the use of classical optimization metrics applied with modern computational tools to efficiently design flight paths for high-speed aircraft.

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What is Joe Shonan's role at Hermus?

Joe Shonan is Hermus' principal flight dynamics engineer, focusing on handling qualities and flight performance of the Court ofor series of aircraft.

What background does Joe Shonan have in the industry?

With a focus on structural dynamics from grad school, Shonan's career evolved from research on high-speed systems and novel control systems for missiles to flight dynamics and performance.

How does the work on missiles compare to aircraft design?

While missiles and aircraft share some similarities, aircraft design presents unique challenges due to asymmetries and a wider range of speeds, affecting both stability and control.

What is the biggest problem currently being addressed for the Quarter Horse?

The primary challenge is maintaining stability and performance across a wide range of Mach numbers, from takeoff through supersonic speeds.

Timestamped Summary


00:00 "We recently uploaded our 45-minute long documentary on Hermas...so I figured I would share more of what we learned at Hermas with you."


01:08 "My name is Joe Shonan, I'm a Flight Dynamics Engineer here at Hermas...responsible for handling qualities and flight performance of the Quarterhorse series of aircraft."


03:00 "Missiles are generally symmetric...but the ones I was looking at were exclusively high-speed...with Quarterhorse, as with Darkhorse, we'll have to start off on the runway, take off under our own power."


06:01 "What's length scale? Just the length of your vehicle with respect to your flow...related to the distance from your center of gravity to where your horizontal stabilizer is."


09:00 "It's certainly a possibility...to go to a pure Delta, but there's a lot of considerations there as well...robustness...are we confident that we can rotate on takeoff under all circumstances?"


12:00 "The biggest problem we're trying to solve for Quarterhorse right now is how do we maintain and...both our stability and our performance across the entire range of Mach numbers that we need to fly through."


15:00 "The complexity in conjunction with all the thermal challenges...make variable geometry...not something we'd like to pursue...swing wings have largely had their day back in the '60s and '70s."


18:00 "There are high emissivity white paints available...you could paint it white and get the same, say, 0.95 emissivity that the black...paint would give you."


21:00 "We're looking pretty hard at Inconel and titanium...Inconel is a bit more future-proof but it is heavier...introduces a lot more thermal stress into your airframe."


24:00 "New York to London type mission, yeah, that is something that I do think is going to be feasible...transpacific would ever be possible...to me would be such a huge unlock in terms of connectivity."


26:01 "Engineers are ultimately creative...mathematically inclined...those moments of like a dopamine rush when you create something new or you solve a problem."


28:00 "One of my favorite experiences...was when we really started to get into trajectory optimization...it actually unlocked a world of...understanding of how do we take Quarterhorse in a better direction."

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