Rolls-Royce’s ‘Spirit of Innovation’ has set three new world records while becoming the world’s fastest all-electric aircraft.
According to company data submitted to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), the aircraft reached a top speed of 555.9 km/h (345.4 mph) over 3 kilometer, smashing the existing record by 213.04 km/h (132mph).
And that’s not about it: In further runs at the UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Boscombe Down experimental aircraft testing site, the aircraft achieved 532.1km/h (330 mph) over 15 kilometres – 292.8km/h (182mph) faster than the previous record.
It also broke the fastest time to climb to 3000 metres by 60 seconds with a time of 202 seconds.
During its record-breaking runs, the ‘Spirit of Innovation’ clocked up a maximum speed of 623 km/h (387.4 mph), making it the world’s fastest all-electric vehicle till date.
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.
The ‘Spirit of Innovation’ is part of the Accelerating the Electrification of Flight (ACCEL) project. Its partners include aviation energy storage specialist Electroflight, and Mercedes-Benz AG powertrain supplier YASA.
The ACCEL programme is also supported by two other British pioneers: Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) who have loaned all-electric zero emission Jaguar I-PACE cars as towing and support vehicles; and Bremont, the luxury watchmaker, who were the official timing partner for the record attempt.
Rolls-Royce has 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 213.04 km/h (132 mph) faster than the previous record set by the Siemens eAircraft powered Extra 330 LE Aerobatic aircraft in 2017.
Image and content: Rolls-Royce