fter engine tests on the ground, then a first 15-minute flight on September 15 in the United Kingdom, the Spirit of Innovation designed by Rolls-Royce is now shifting into high gear by accumulating three world records. With its powerful 400 kW electric motor developing the equivalent of 500 hp, the Spirit of Innovation took off on September 16 at 3:45 p.m. from Boscombe Down Air Base in Wiltshire (England). While the manufacturer ‘s goal was to exceed the speed of 480 km / h, the aircraft remained at 555.9 km / h over a distance of 3 km. An absolute record for an electric aircraft. Better yet, Rolls-Royce would also have recorded a peak at 623 km / h.
The Spirit of Innovation also holds a second distance speed record , with 532.1 km / h over 15 km. Finally, the International Aeronautical Federation must also approve a final record, that of the fastest rate of climb for an electric aircraft. The aircraft climbed to 3,000 meters in just 202 seconds.
A Beautiful Plane Is A Plane That Flies Well
In short, the Spirit of Innovation is currently the fastest electric vehicle in the world. To its list of achievements are also added technological prowess. Thus, with the 6,000 cells, its battery would form the highest density ever integrated in an aircraft. Much more than breaking records, the aircraft is above all a concentrate of technologies whose objective is to equip 100% electric airliners or flying taxis in the future. It could well be in the near future as Rolls-Royce and the aircraft manufacturer Tecnam are working with Widerøe , a Norwegian regional airline, to build an electric transport aircraft that would be operational by 2026.
Rolls-Royce Electric Plane Ready For Take Off
Now is the time for the final ground test of the Spirit of Innovation, the electric racing aircraft designed by Rolls-Royce. Fully assembled, the aircraft was able to successfully perform maneuvers on the ground to test the correct integration of its electric propulsion system into the airframe.
The development of the airframe of the aircraft has been validated, the engine has been tested, the various elements assembled, the time has come to make the first turns of the wheels for the ACCEL ( Accelerating the Electrification of Flight ) electric aircraft from Rolls- Royce. It is not a question of making a flight, but what is called the taxiing of the plane on the taxiway, in other words, the runway. The Spirit of Innovation, that’s its stage name, was able to operate on the ground powered by its 500 hp electric motor , or 400 kW.
Despite appearances, even if the plane seems to have been content with simple turns of the wheels without taking in the air , it is a critical test and the last test before a first flight. It makes it possible to check the correct integration of the aircraft’s propulsion system into the airframe and its behavior on the ground during taxiing. Controlling an airplane with such engine power is quite difficult, especially on an aircraft equipped with a so-called conventional train, that is to say with a wheel at the rear of the fuselage and not at the front as on most modern airplanes.
The “Rolling”, A Critical Test
It is necessary to be able to precisely measure the power with an engine torque which tends to make the plane pivot on the left side during taxiing . The risk is that, at each change of direction, the centrifugal force applied to the center of gravity will amplify the movement too much. A late or too weak correction can then generate a destructive spin. This rolling operation is also an opportunity to check its correct combination with the braking system.
The first flight is scheduled for this spring and, at full power, the aircraft will be able to operate at over 480 km / h, the speed record for an electric aircraft. As with Formula 1 , this technological showcase will allow the introduction of certain innovations in the planes of tomorrow. This is particularly the case with the device’s high-density battery.
Objective: Zero Carbon Emissions By 2050
As in aviation, the constraints are important; it is on this battery that most of the innovation is based. It must be as light as possible and also have an efficient thermal protection and cooling system. A real challenge for the manufacturer as well as for the future of electric aviation. Rolls-Royce claims that she alone could supply power 250 homes.
Originally, the racing plane was scheduled to make its first flights this year. The current health crisis and its constraints will certainly delay the process, but the firm remains confident and intends to achieve its speed record early next year. For Rolls-Royce, the development of ACCEL is only the beginning of an investment in the creation of engines for airliners emitting zero carbon by 2050.
Electric Plane: Rolls-Royce Ready To Beat The World Speed Record
When Futura presented Rolls-Royce’s ACCEL speed electric plane project , it was just a concept. Today, the manufacturer has developed the cell of the device. In aviation, it is said that a beautiful plane is a plane that flies well. The design of the ACCEL project is rather successful, even if it strongly resembles that of a racing plane , the Sharp Nemesis NXT. It is finally quite logical since it is derived from this racer made mainly of carbon fiber . Unlike the Nemesis NXT, which holds the speed record for an airplane in its class with a top speed of 657 km / h, the ACCEL will peak at over 480 km / h with its electric motor. If Rolls-Royce succeeds, it will be thefastest electric. For the moment, the record is 334 km / h. It is held by an Extra 330 , a modified aerobatic aircraft, the engine of which has been replaced by a Siemens engine
Towards A Record In 2020
It is in 2020 that the manufacturer intends to fly the aircraft which will be equipped with three electric motors designed by Yasa accumulating a power of at least 500 horsepower. A 750 kW battery comprising 6,000 cells powers the engine. To achieve such a velocity, the battery heats up tremendously and their cooling is one of the important points in the design of this aircraft.
Called ACCEL for Accelerating the Electrification of Flight , this racing aircraft allows Rolls-Royce to conduct experiments in order to create by 2030 a hybrid engine for a real commercial aircraft.
A Journey From Paris To London With A Single Charge:-
For this, a series of sensors will continuously monitor 20,000 points in the powertrain, including battery voltage, temperature and condition of the engines. The announced autonomy could allow a flight between Paris and London in one go.
Compared to a conventional airplane, the propeller blades spin at a much lower rpm of 2,400 rpm to provide more stable and much quieter operation. See you in 2020 to find out if this electric plane has kept its promise! Remember that Rolls-Royce is also working on an electric flying taxi project .