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Mon, Nov 22, 2021

Rolls-Royce Claims Electric Speed Record

Experimental Electric Aircraft Smashes Existing Records By 132 MPH

The folks at Roll-Royce tell ANN that they believe their all-electric ‘Spirit of Innovation’ aircraft is the world’s fastest, setting three new world records.

They have submitted data to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) – that at 15:45 (GMT) on 16 November 2021, the aircraft reached a top speed of 345.4 mph over 3 kilometres, smashing the existing record by 132 mph. In further runs at the UK Ministry of Defence’s Boscombe Down experimental aircraft testing site, the aircraft achieved 330 mph over 15 km – 182 mph faster than the previous record – and broke the fastest time to climb to 3000 metres by 60 seconds with a time of 202 seconds, according to RR data. They, "hope that the FAI will certify and officially confirm the achievements of the team in the near future."

During its record-breaking runs, the aircraft clocked up a maximum speed of 387.4 mph which they believe makes the ‘Spirit of Innovation’ the world’s fastest all-electric vehicle.

The ‘Spirit of Innovation’ is part of the ACCEL or ‘Accelerating the Electrification of Flight’ project.

The aircraft was propelled on its record breaking runs by a 400kW (500+hp) electric powertrain and the most power-dense propulsion battery pack ever assembled in aerospace. RR worked in partnership with aviation energy storage specialist Electroflight and automotive powertrain supplier YASA. The project and world record runs provided important data for future electric power and propulsion systems for all-electric urban air mobility and hybrid-electric commuter aircraft. The characteristics that ‘air-taxis’ require from batteries, for instance, are very similar to what was developed for the ‘Spirit of Innovation’.

Rolls-Royce notes they have 'an incredible history' of flying speed record attempts and breaking records, dating back to the Schneider Trophies of the early 1930s. The speed achieved by test pilot and Rolls-Royce Director of Flight Operations Phill O’Dell in the ‘Spirit of Innovation’ was more than 132 mph faster than the previous record set by the Siemens eAircraft powered Extra 330 LE Aerobatic aircraft in 2017.

Phill O’Dell 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. The opportunity to be at the forefront of another pioneering chapter of Rolls-Royce’s story as we look to deliver the future of aviation is what dreams are made of.”

Rolls-Royce concluded by noting that, "Our involvement in the ACCEL project is just one of the ways in which we are looking to make aviation more sustainable. In June, we announced our pathway to net zero carbon emissions – a year on from joining the UN Race to Zero campaign – committing to ensure our new products will be compatible with net zero operation by 2030 and all our products will be compatible with net zero by 2050."

FMI: https://www.rolls-royce.com/
 
 


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