Rolls-Royce all-electric aircraft breaks world records By Greig Watson
12 hours ago
Image source, Rolls-Royce Image caption, The plane set records over two timed distances An all-electric aircraft built by Rolls-Royce has broken two world speed records.
In November 2021, The Spirit of Innovation hit an average of 555.9 km/h (345.4 mph) over 3 km, and 532.1km/h (330 mph) over 15 km.
Both attempts, which took place at an experimental testing site, have now been verified as records by the World Air Sports Federation.
Rolls-Royce described it as a “fantastic achievement”.
Image source, Rolls-Royce Image caption, The team is awaiting confirmation of a third record, for rate of climb In runs at the UK Ministry of Defence’s Boscombe Down testing site in Wiltshire, the aircraft’s average speed over 3 km broke the existing record by 213.04 km/h (132 mph).
The 15 kilometres speed was 292.8 km/h (182 mph) faster than the previous record.
A third record attempt, for the fastest climb to 3,000m, reached in 202 seconds, is still going through the verification process.If approved, it will break the current record by 60 seconds.
A maximum speed reached, that of 387.4 mph (623 km/h) – which would make it the fastest electric vehicle ever – was not part of the official record submission.
The project is part of the UK Government-backed ACCEL or “Accelerating the Electrification of Flight” project.
Image source, Rolls-Royce Image caption, Spirit of Innovation uses a 400kW electric powertrain The aircraft uses a 400kW electric powertrain – the equivalent of a 535 BHP supercar.
Rolls-Royce, whose aerospace headquarters are based in Derby, said the propulsion battery pack was the most power-dense ever assembled for a plane – enough to charge 7,500 phones.
Warren East, CEO, Rolls-Royce, said: “Achieving the all-electric world-speed record is a fantastic achievement for the ACCEL team and Rolls-Royce.
“The advanced battery and propulsion technology developed for this programme has exciting applications for the Advanced Air Mobility market.
“This is another milestone that will help make ‘jet zero’ a reality and supports our ambitions to deliver the technology breakthroughs society needs to decarbonise transport across air, land and sea.”
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