The flight lasted 15 minutes. The new 1250 kg empty single-seater took off from the British Ministry of Defense site at Boscombe Down, some 100 kilometers south-west of London. With its 400 kW electric motor delivering 500 horsepower, Rolls-Royce announces a range of 320 kilometers and a top speed of nearly 500 km / h. It would then become the fastest electric aircraft in the world, ahead of the Extra 330LE which reached 342 km / h in 2017.
Well beyond the speed record, the primary objective for the brand is to open the doors to ecological aviation. And for good reason, this single-seater is only a prototype. The brand aspires above all to create a fully electric propulsion system thanks to the ACCEL program, Accelerating the Electrification of Flight, launched in 2018 and funded by the British government and Aerospace Technology. Rolls-Royce CEO Warren East said: “It’s not just about breaking a world record. The advanced battery and propulsion technologies developed for this program have interesting applications for the urban air mobility market and can help turn “jet zero” into reality ”. Thus, the innovation could be sold to manufacturers in order to reach other segments of the sector, such as planes intended for short trips: air taxis or regional planes.
To this end, Rolls-Royce has joined forces with the aircraft manufacturer Tecnam and the Scandinavian regional airline Wideroe for the development of an electric aircraft capable of carrying 9 people on flights of less than 300 kilometers. This aircraft should be operational in 2026.
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