Watch: Rolls-Royce 'Spirit of Innovation' Breaks EV Speed Record
In a press statement Rolls-Royce has announced that its all-electric ‘Spirit of Innovation’ aircraft "is the world’s fastest all-electric aircraft, setting three new world records."
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.
Data has been submitted to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) – the World Air Sports Federation who control and certify world aeronautical and astronautical records – that at 15:45 (GMT) on 16 November 2021, the aircraft reached a top speed of 555.9 km/h (345.4 mph) over 3 kilometres, smashing the existing record by 213.04 km/h (132mph).
In further runs at the UK Ministry of Defence’s 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 – and broke the fastest time to climb to 3000 metres by 60 seconds with a time of 202 seconds, according to our data.
FAI is yet to certify and officially confirm the achievements of the team.
During its record-breaking runs, the aircraft clocked up a maximum speed of 623 km/h (387.4 mph) which we believe makes the ‘Spirit of Innovation’ the world’s fastest all-electric vehicle.
Warren East, CEO, Rolls-Royce, said: “Staking the claim for the all-electric world-speed record is a fantastic achievement for the ACCEL (Accelerating the Electrification of Flight) team and Rolls-Royce.
"I would like to thank our partners and especially Electroflight for their collaboration in achieving this pioneering breakthrough. The advanced battery and propulsion technology developed for this programme has exciting applications for the Advanced Air Mobility market.
"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.”
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “Rolls-Royce’s revolutionary Spirit of Innovation aircraft is yet more proof of the UK’s enviable credentials when it comes to innovation.
"This record will show the potential of electric flight and help to unlock the technologies that could make it part of everyday life."