Rolls-Royce targets electric air speed record after maiden flight success


Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC (LSE:RR.)’s first all-electric plane will attempt to set a world record 300mph later this year after successfully completing a 15-minute maiden flight yesterday.

The Spirit of Innovation flight took place at the Boscombe Down military testing site using a battery pack that the company described as the most “power-dense” ever assembled for an aircraft.

Rolls said it had specially designed and assembled the battery pack to break the all-electric speed record.

Rolls-Royce all-electric aeroplane heading for record breaking flight in coming weeks

The 6,000 cells in the battery are “packaged for maximum lightness and thermal protection” with the 400kW electric powertrain the equivalent to 500 horsepower.

The current record for an electric-powered flight stands at 210mph.

Warren East, Rolls-Royce’s chief executive, said: “The first flight of the Spirit of Innovation is a great achievement.

“This is not only about breaking a world record; the advanced battery and propulsion technology developed for this programme has exciting applications for the urban air mobility market and can help make ‘jet zero’ a reality.”

Half of the ACCEL project’s funding is provided by the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), in partnership with the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Innovate UK with the commercial partners the electric motor and controller manufacturer YASA and aviation start-up Electroflight.


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