An announcement by Rolls-Royce says it has developed the “world’s fastest all-electric aircraft.”
According to Rolls-Royce, the aircraft — dubbed the “Spirit of Innovation” — achieved a maximum speed of 387.4 miles per hour (623 kilometers per hour) in flight, potentially making it the “fastest all-electric vehicle in the world.”
Rolls-Royce claimed that the Spirit of Innovation achieved three world records, including reaching 345.4 mph over 1.86 miles on 16 November. In addition, the vehicle achieved the fastest time to ascend 3000 meters by one minute, with a time of 202 seconds.
At the UK’s military aircraft testing site in Wiltshire, the aircraft flew 300 mph over 9.32 miles, 182 mph faster than the previous record.
Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FIA) has been notified of the figures for verification.
The aircraft was built through the Accelerating the Electrification of Flight (ACCEL) project, and it is powered by an electric motor that generates 400kW.
ACCEL or ‘Accelerating the Electrification of Flight’ is the project behind ‘Spirit of Innovation. Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) provides half the funding for the project, in partnership with the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Innovate UK.
According to Rolls-Royce, the propulsion battery pack is the most power-dense ever built in aerospace.
“Staking a claim for the all-electric world-speed record is a fantastic achievement for ACCEL and Rolls-Royce,” says the company’s CEO Warren East.
“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,” East added.