autoevolution
Car video reviews:
 

Rolls-Royce Spirit of Innovation Is Officially the World’s Fastest All-Electric Aircraft

Rolls-Royce announced that its all-electric airplane, called Spirit of Innovation, officially became the world’s fastest all-electric aircraft. Two new records set on November 16th were verified by the World Air Sports Federation (FAI).
Rolls-Royce Spirit of Innovation all-electric aircraft 8 photos
Rolls-Royce Spirit of InnovationRolls-Royce Spirit of InnovationRolls-Royce Spirit of InnovationRolls-Royce Spirit of InnovationRolls-Royce Spirit of InnovationRolls-Royce Spirit of InnovationRolls-Royce Spirit of Innovation
We saw what Spirit of Innovation is capable of back in November when it hit 387,4 mph (623 kph) during one of the test flights held at the UK Ministry of Defence’s Boscombe Down experimental aircraft testing site.

Phill O’Dell, Rolls-Royce Director of Flight Operations, took the aircraft to new speeds. The plane smashed the previous record set in 2017 by the Extra 330 LE aerobatic aircraft by 132 mph (213 kph). As if that wasn’t impressive enough, another record was set when the aircraft, piloted by Electroflight pilot Steve Jones, reached 330 mph (532 kph) on a 9,3-mile (15-km) distance.

However, at the time, Rolls-Royce was still awaiting certification for these incredible achievements. And now, it’s finally official: the Spirit of Innovation airplane became the world’s fastest all-electric aircraft.

But there’s one more accomplishment that needs confirmation from FAI: during the tests, the vehicle reached a 9,843-ft (3,000-meter) altitude in just 202 seconds, breaking the current record by 60 seconds.

That’s three records achieved in one day. Everything was possible thanks to the innovative technology used on the plane. The Spirit packs a battery with 6,000 cells that has a cooling system made to withstand extreme temperatures. Described as “the most power-dense battery pack ever assembled for an aircraft,” it powers axial-flux electric motors rated at over 500 hp.

The company will use the data gathered during these successful flights to make propulsion systems for all-electric urban air transportation commuter aircraft in the future.

Rolls-Royce plans to use the technology developed for the Spirit of Innovation on electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicles as well. That’s because the airplane shares similar features with those required by eVTOLs, such as the batteries that power the Spirit.

press release
 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories