A Rolls-Royce all-electric aircraft, called “The Spirit of Innovation,” is claimed to be the fastest of its kind in the world.
The electric plane is said to have reached a maximum speed of 387.4 mph in recent flight tests, according to Gizmodo. These tests occurred last November 16.
In a different run, the plane covered a total of 1.8 miles while reaching a top speed of 345.4 mph, which blew the former record out of the water by 132 mph. And in a much longer 9.3-mile flight, it tallied a top speed of 330 mph, beating the old record by 182 mph.
Reaching those speeds, however, is not where the Rolls-Royce aircraft ends its record-breaking run. Its insane speed also allegedly allowed it to cover a total distance of 3,000 meters in just 202 seconds or just over 3 minutes.
During that 3,000-meter run, the Rolls-Royce electric plane beat the former record by just under a minute.
In a press release, Rolls-Royce stated that they’d submitted their data to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), the world’s foremost governing body for aeronautical and astronautical records, for official verification.
Under The Rolls-Royce Plane’s Hood
The all-electric aircraft, which is the product of the Accelerating the Electrification of Flight (ACCEL) project, uses an insanely powerful 400 KW/h electric powertrain, according to CNN.
With its propulsion battery pack (considered to be the most power-dense one ever constructed in aerospace history), the powertrain was capable of outputting enough energy to simultaneously charge 7,500 modern smartphones, according to the BBC.
The Rolls-Royce all-electric aircraft first took to the skies fairly recently.
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Will Electric Planes Be The Future?
The recently concluded COP26 summit made it clear that the world’s next big objective is to drastically reduce carbon emissions, especially in the aviation industry. And that’s where electric planes like the Rolls-Royce Spirit of Innovation come in.
Rolls-Royce chief executive stated that the existence of the Spirit of Innovation is a major milestone that will make the world’s “jet zero” plan real.
(Photo : FRED TANNEAU/AFP via Getty Images)
A pilot plugs a Pipistrel Velis Electro, first electric plane certified by European Union Aviation Safety, on June 11, 2021 in Guipavas, western France. – Green Aerolease, a company specialized in location of light aeroplanes, based in Brest, has signed a deal with Slovenian electric plane constructor Pipistrel to buy 50 electric planes for pilots instruction.
According to the BBC, the airline industry accounts for 2.4% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions. This doesn’t seem much in the grand scheme of things, but flying on its own is considered one of the most damaging forms of travel to the climate.
However, fully turning to electric planes like Rolls-Royce’s aircraft will present a massive challenge, writes National Geographic.
The world is currently in the jet fuel age. Experts say that jet fuel, despite its obvious negative effects on the environment, is still the nearly “perfect” method of holding energy. Compared to batteries, jet fuel can hold 73 times as much power as electric batteries can.
While this doesn’t sound good environmental-wise, one thing is certain, as per the original National Geographic report: batteries are getting better and more efficient with time, while liquid fuel doesn’t.
Electric planes like the Rolls-Royce Spirit of Innovation are the future, provided the world actually decides to adopt it.
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Written by RJ Pierce
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