Cincinnati/Dayton-based Velontra has partnered with Venus Aerospace in Houston, Texas, to develop a revolutionary propulsion system. Velontra's after-burner system will enable Venus' hypersonic aircraft to take off from any airport in the world where it will travel to any destination on Earth in about one hour.
"This is an exciting relationship," says Velontra CEO Robert Keane III. "Our after-burner system rounds out Venus' quest to use their rocket engine to travel at the hypersonic speed of Mach 9 (nine times the speed of sound) as it travels along the edge of the Earth's atmosphere."
Keane also says that this contract with Venus Aerospace is a validation of the market need for the Velontra propulsion system that can carry passengers quickly and efficiently around the globe. Their air-breathing propulsion system is up to six times more fuel efficient than any rocket and uses oxygen from the air which creates thousands of pounds of additional payload capacity. Velontra's development process is also quick and more economical than most traditional aerospace and defense contractors.
The Venus Aerospace "Stargazer" is designed as an unusually sleek aircraft, proposed to be 100 feet wide by 150 feet long. It is expected to weigh around 150,000 pounds and accommodate up to 12 passengers. It is the brainchild of Venus founders and noted space engineers Sarah "Sassie" Duggleby and her husband, Dr. Andrew Duggleby.
"We are excited to partner with Velontra; the extra performance they can bring to our hypersonic vehicles is unmatched. Rob and Joel bring incredible experience, and we are excited to see more technologists and entrepreneurs enter the deep-tech venture arena. We (the U.S.) need more shots on goal, and innovation happens by doing. Velontra is a prime example of this," says Dr. Andrew Duggleby, chief technology officer and co-founder of Venus Aerospace.
"While Venus started their quest slightly before us, this relationship enables us to develop our flight testing faster than originally expected," reveals Keane.
The timing couldn't be more perfect. Velontra has been accepted into the latest cohort of the prestigious Y-Combinator, an American technology and startup accelerator in the Silicon Valley. Among its graduates are such household names as Door Dash, Airbnb, Uber and Instacart. Its technology graduates include Momentus and Boomer Supersonic.
"Y-Combinator only admits just 1.5% to 2% of applicants and even fewer in the aerospace industry," says Keane. "This investment achievement and our cutting-edge work with Venus Aerospace has created a path to groundbreaking success."
"All of us at Velontra see this as a synergistic relationship with Venus where we can combine our unique technologies to develop something the world has never seen before," says Joel Darin, Velontra's chief technology officer.