The age of electric aircraft has begun, and it includes Rolls-Royce’s all-electric ‘Spirit of Innovation’ plane. It successfully completed its maiden flight, thanks to its 400kW (500+hp) electric powertrain boasting the most power-dense battery pack ever assembled for an aircraft.
Its journey began from the UK Ministry of Defence’s Boscombe Down site, which is managed by QinetiQ. Once in the skies, it flew for approximately 15 minutes. What made this site so special is that it has a long heritage of experimental flights and this one marks the first of many intense flight-testing phases in which Rolls-Royce will be collecting valuable performance data on the aircraft’s electrical power and propulsion system.
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The first flight of the ‘Spirit of Innovation’ is a great achievement for the ACCEL team and Rolls-Royce. We are focused on producing the technology breakthroughs society needs to decarbonize transport across air, land and sea, and capture the economic opportunity of the transition to net zero. This is not only about breaking a world record; the advanced battery and propulsion technology developed for this program has exciting applications for the Urban Air Mobility market and can help make ‘jet zero’ a reality,” said Warren East, CEO, Rolls-Royce.