Spirit of Innovation plane is the world’s fastest all-electric aircraft

engineering careers  Spirit of Innovation plane is the world’s fastest all-electric aircraft

The Spirit of Innovation – an electric aircraft demonstrator developed by Rolls-Royce – has clinched the record for the world’s fastest all-electric aircraft.

The Derby-based firm has claimed that the craft hit a speed of 387.4 mph during a test run at Boscombe Down in Amesbury on 16 November.

The speed was hit by the director of flight and operations (and also test pilot) Phill O’Dell.

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Rolls-Royce explained that the Spirit of Innovation was almost 132 mph faster than the existing record held by Siemens eAircraft powered Extra 330 LE Aerobatic aircraft in 2017.

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Not only that but the firm claim to have also nabbed the record for the fastest time to climb to 3,000 metres by 60 seconds at 3 minutes and 22 seconds.

The 24 ft (7.3 m) span aircraft is powered by three high power density electric motors driving a single three-blade propeller spinning at 2,400 RPM, designed and manufactured by YASA.

This runs at 750 volts and delivering over 500 hp (370 kW) combined.

The plan has a 6,000-cell, cooled battery pack which means it has the highest energy density for an aircraft to date and in theory will allow for typical cruising speeds of 320 km while achieving a 170-nautical mile range.

The aircraft’s body is a carbon fibre Sharp Nemesis NXT racer.

The battery, motors and control equipment weigh the same as the regular engine and fuel tank while the aircraft has a maximum take-off weight of 1,200kg (2,645lb).

The results are yet to be officially certified by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) so the plane does not yet officially hold the World Records.