Soaring through the skies at over 623km/h, Rolls Royce has revealed the world’s fastest electric vehicle, breaking three world records in the process. The battery-powered aircraft, named the Spirit of Innovation, completed test runs at the UK Ministry of Defence’s Boscombe Down testing facility in Wiltshire, England.
The aerospace company, now separate from its luxury car manufacturer, claims the plane is the fastest EV ever, breaking three world records for its test flight. Rolls Royce says the electric aircraft reached 555.9 km/h over a distance of 3km and 532.1km/h over 15km as well as being the fastest to climb to 3,000 meters – in 202 seconds.
Submitting the data to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) who regulates and certifies aeronautical records, Rolls Royce is waiting for official confirmation of the achievements.
Powered by three electric motors, Rolls Royce developed the powertrain in a three-way partnership with aviation energy storage specialist Electroflight and automotive powertrain supplier YASA. The 400kW electric powertrain produces 500+hp which Rolls Royce says is “the most power-dense propulsion battery pack ever assembled in aerospace.”
Test pilot and Rolls-Royce Director of Flight Operations, Phill O’Dell, said flying the single-seater plane to a record-breaking run was a “highlight of his career”.
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.
If the record-breaking run is confirmed, Spirit of innovation will have travelled more than 213km/h faster than the previous record set by Siemens’ Extra 330 LE Aerobatic in 2017. It represents the largest increase in speed over such a short time – a testament to the quick evolution of electric aerospace technology.
Warren East, Rolls-Royce’s CEO, says the electric airplane, that only recently made its maiden flight in September, is a significant step in the future of sustainable travel.
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 decarbonize transport across air, land, and sea.
While the supersonic jet could be the fast-flying future of aviation, electric aircraft are cutting the path forward for sustainable travel.
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