Our Hypersonic Future with Hermeus’ AJ Piplica

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AJ Piplica (@AJ_Piplica), founder and CEO of Hermeus, joins Lucas Bagno and Ian Cinnamon on this episode. Takeaways:
- Every time there has been an acceleration in the speed of transportation in history, high GDP growth has followed.
- A switch to hypersonic transportation would unlock $4T in growth.
- In the future the key differentiator in air travel will be speed, rather than comfort.
- It’s currently extremely expensive to do flight testing at hypersonic speeds — $5-10M for only a few seconds of data.
- In the 40s and through the Cold War, there were new aircrafts released every few years, but since then the pace of innovation has slowed significantly.
- Cost-plus contracts are very comfortable for companies and create perverse incentives.
- We are in the midst of a techno-economic pursuit in hypersonic transport and whichever country gets there first gets to write the rules.
- The immense amount of political strife in this country keeps AJ up at night but unity amongst smaller cohorts of people working on challenges at a global scale keeps him optimistic.
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