Last week, Rolls-Royce announced in an official press release that during flight tests, on November 16, at the British Defense Ministry’s Boscombe Down Experimental Range The all-electric Spirit of Innovation aircraft of the company has reached a speed of 623 km / h. As a result, a new world speed record was recorded for this class of aircraft. In addition, three more world records were set, the results of which were submitted for registration to the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI, World Air Sports Federation).
Its first test flight, which lasted 15 minutes, the Spirit of Innovation aircraft made in September of this year. Then the stage of intensive flight tests began. The development of the all-electric Spirit of Innovation is part of the ACCEL (Accelerating the Electrification of Flight) project, which is partially funded by the UK government.
The ACCEL project will enable by 2050, to transfer the UK aviation to a “completely carbon neutral” operating mode. In addition to Rolls-Royce, the all-electric Spirit of Innovation was developed and created by the electric motor manufacturer YASA, the aviation startup Electroflight and the Aerospace Research Institute (ATI). The press release for November 19 also indicates the participation in the project Jaguar Land Rover (electric cars Jaguar I-PACE transported the plane) and luxury watch manufacturer Bremont, whose chronometers recorded the result.
Structurally, the “Spirit of Innovation” is created in the likeness of a classic monoplane with wings located low in relation to the center of the fuselage (low wing). The front propeller is powered by three YASA 750R electric motors. The efficiency of the aircraft’s power plant is 90%, and the total engine power is 500 hp. Autonomous flight on a unique battery pack of 6,000 cells is 320 km. The peak power generated by the motor is 750 kW.
Spirit of Innovation reached a record speed of 623 km / h during testing on November 16, surpassing the previous record of 337.5 km / h set by the Siemens electric aircraft Extra 330LE in 2016.
In addition, three more world records have been announced. Spirit of Innovation reached a speed of 555.9 km / h at a distance of 3 km, which is 213.04 km / h faster than the previous Siemens Extra 330 record set in 2017. Also, a new speed record of 532.1 km / h was set at a distance of 15 km, and it took Rolls-Royce only 202 seconds to climb to an altitude of 3 km, which is 60 seconds better than the previous record.
Unique results were recorded during the Spirit of Innovation flight under the direction of Rolls-Royce Test Pilot and Flight Director Phil O’Dell. Experts note that such a sharp increase in speed indicators in comparison with the previous record (almost twice: from 337.5 km / h to 623 km / h in two years) has never happened in the history of aircraft construction. This fact demonstrates progress in achieving ACCEL’s goals of converting aviation to carbon neutral aircraft.