All-electric aircraft from Rolls Royce shattered two world speed records last November. The World Air Sports Federation has recognised the test flight at the U.K. Ministry of Defence’s Boscombe Down experimental aircraft testing site as a new world record.
Spirit of Innovation is developed as a part of Accelerating the Electrification of Flight (ACCEL) project. This electric version of the Nemesis NXT kit racing plane is powered by a 400-kW electric powertrain, which is equivalent to a 535 BHP supercar. The advanced battery and propulsion technology developed under the ACCEL project was fundamental in achieving this height. Rolls-Royce claims that the propulsion battery pack itself can charge upto 7,500 phones, the most power-dense battery pack ever assembled for a plane.
The record breaking flight was carried out by Rolls-Royce test pilot and director of flight operations Phill O’Dell and Electroflight pilot Steve Jones.
Verified by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), the aircraft has reportedly recorded a top speed of 555.9 km/h (345.4 MPH) over 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) and 532.1km/h (330 mph) over 15 km, which is 213.04 km/h (132 MPH) and 292.8 km/h (182 mph) faster than the previous record-holder.
Spirit of Innovation has attempted another world record in which the all-electric covered 3000 Meters in just 202 seconds. This will break the current record by 60 seconds. However, this achievement is still awaiting verification.
According to Warren East, CEO, Rolls-Royce, Achieving the all-electric world-speed record is a fantastic achievement for the ACCEL team and Rolls-Royce. Rolls Royce expressed their gratitude towards the aviation start-up Electroflight, for their collaboration in achieving this pioneering breakthrough. While hitting this milestone, Rolls Royce is now a step closer to the “Jet Zero” reality.
What is “Jet Zero”?
Jet Zero is an ambitious project aimed at developing zero emission transatlantic flights within a generation. For this purpose, the Jet Zero Emission Council, which is a partnership of industries and government, has been formulated to cut down on aviation emissions.
The carbon footprint of the aviation industry is significant. On a global scale, the aviation industry alone produces around 2.5% of all carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Known to be one of the fastest-growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) says that air travel is currently the most carbon intensive activity an individual can do.
Looks like Rolls-Royce came up with an effective solution. The project was partly funded by the U.K Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Innovate UK. In a statement issued by the U.K. Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, he said “the aircraft’s flight is a huge step forward in the global transition to cleaner forms of flight.”