The Switzerland-based aerospace startup, Destinus SA, wants to build near-space vehicles and infrastructure to power the world’s fastest and cleanest transportation network. The company just got a big boost in the form of a seed round of 26.8 million Swiss francs ($29 million).
“We are excited about the broad support for Destinus, which further validates the potential for clean, hypersonic travel to anywhere in the world in 1-2 hours,” Founder and CEO Mikhail Kokorich said. “We plan to use the funding to continue the development of our hydrogen airbreathing and rocket engines and test the first supersonic flights powered by hydrogen engines in the next 12-18 months. We have already made significant progress and have designed and filed patents for the unique subsystems, such as a hydrogen active cooling system, enabling a highly reusable hyperplane flying at almost the speed of a rocket”.
It is developing a hypersonic hydrogen-powered, zero-emissions vehicle capable of moving cargo between continents at hypersonic Mach 15 cruise speeds. The vehicle is designed as a hybrid between an airplane and a rocket. It will take off and land horizontally from airports using a hydrogen-fed airbreathing jet engine integrating seamlessly with other planes when it passes controlled airspace. Once a certain altitude and speed are reached, the hyperplane will switch to a cryogenic hydrogen rocket engine that will accelerate the aircraft to hypersonic velocity and reduce traveling time between continents to a matter of a couple of hours.
“It is breathtaking to see a future in which travel anywhere in the world in 1-2 hours will be available,” commented Philipp Rösler, Destinus’ chairman of the Advisory Board, the former minister of Economics and Technology, and the vice-chancellor of Germany, a passionate pilot. “Most importantly, the hyperplane under development will use liquid hydrogen to fuel its engines. That gives the great opportunity to fly fast and at the same time be carbon neutral. The only emission of such engines is water. I am excited that companies like Destinus will be able to provide European leadership in the aerospace sector.”
The company currently has a team of more than 50 engineers and managers who have previously worked at Arianespace, Boeing, Airbus, Dassault, Rolls-Royce, and other major aerospace companies. It plans to grow up to 100 people in 2022 to complete extensive research and development and initiate flight testing.