Rolls-Royce’s all-electric aircraft sets new speed record

Spirit of Innovation aircraft recorded a top speed of 387.4mph/623.45kph in test flight over Wiltshire in the UK

By Sam Phillips, Autocar UK calendar 26 Nov 2021 Views icon10332 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

Rolls-Royce has tested a new all-electric aircraft, which it says could be the fastest plane of its type in the world. 

The Spirit of Innovation aircraft achieved a top speed of 387.4mph / 623.45kph during one of three test runs in Wiltshire, which is believed to be a new world record.

Over a distance of 1.9 miles (3km) the all-electric plane reached a top speed of 345.4mph. It then hit 330mph over 9.3 miles (15km). 

Aerospace company Rolls-Royce, separate entity from Rolls-Royce the car manufacturer, said that its aircraft travelled more than 132mph faster than the previous record set by the Siemens eAircraft-powered Extra 330 LE Aerobatic in 2017. 

The Derby-based firm also claims to have broken the record for the fastest climb to 3000 metres by an electric plane by 60 seconds, with a recorded time of 202 seconds.

Spirit of Innovation has a 400kW battery, with a power output of just under 500bhp. Rolls-Royce says this is the most power-dense propulsion battery pack ever assembled in aerospace.

The test flights were undertaken by test pilot and director of operations Phill O’Dell. He said: “Flying the Spirit of Innovation at these incredible speeds and believing we have broken the world-record for all-electric flight is a momentous occasion. 

“This is the highlight of my career and is an incredible achievement for the whole team.”

Warren East, CEO, Rolls-Royce, said: “Staking the claim for the all-electric world-speed record is a fantastic achievement for the ACCEL team and Rolls-Royce. 

“Following the world’s focus on the need for action at COP26,  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.”

Rolls-Royce has submitted their data to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) - the World Air Sports Federation. The firm hopes that the FAI will certify and officially confirm the results as new World Record speeds in the near future.

RELATED ARTICLES
Elektrobit reveals role in Sony Honda’s software-defined prototype EV

auther Autocar Pro News Desk calendar07 Feb 2023

Cockpit computers and displays powered by Elektrobit software and integrated by Elektrobit engineering services enable n...

Continental’s minimalistic vehicle cockpit concept wins gold at German Design Award 2023

auther Autocar Pro News Desk calendar07 Feb 2023

Reduced design in the Luxury Minimalism Concept wins top honours; innovative display solutions such as 5K Natural 3D Dis...

Mobility business delivers highest sales growth for Bosch in 2022

auther Autocar Pro News Desk calendar07 Feb 2023

Bosch recorded total sales revenue of 88 billion euros in 2022, up 12%, of which the Mobility Solutions business account...