The race for technology does not stop and several brands are betting on the manufacture of flying electric vehicles with great autonomy and, with the appropriate safety certification, aspire to be part of the new ecosystem of air transport.
In this regard, the British luxury company Rolls-Royce successfully completed the test flight of the first fully electric aircraft. This craft, named Spirit of Innovation, marks a milestone for the industry, as it represents a major step towards the elimination of fossil fuels in air transportation.
It is a single-propeller aircraft with a classic look, but inside it is far more modern than many of the existing ones. It has a 400 kW electric motor powered by 6,000 battery cells, the most dense in the world, according to the manufacturer. The manufacturer details in a statement that the objective is to get the maximum possible power out of the engine to reach more than 300 miles per hour, which is about 480 kilometers per hour.
Warren East, CEO of Rolls-Royce noted that they are focused on producing the technological advances needed by society to decarbonize transportation by air, land and sea.
“It’s not just 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,” he added.
Meanwhile, Company Commercial Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, noted that “the first flight of the groundbreaking Rolls-Royce’ Spirit of Innovation aircraft marks a major step forward in the global transition to cleaner forms of flight. This achievement, and the records we expect to follow, show that the UK remains at the forefront of aerospace innovation.”
For the test flight, the Rolls-Royce aircraft took off from the UK Ministry of Defense headquarters, and flew for approximately 15 minutes. The location has a long tradition of experimental flights and this one marks the beginning of an intense phase in which they will gather valuable performance data on the aircraft’s electrical power and propulsion system.
The Acceleration of Flight Electrification (“ACCEL”) program, includes key partners such as YASA, manufacturer of controllers and electric motors, and Electroflight, for aviation commissioning. The ACCEL team has continued to innovate while adhering to social distancing guidelines and other UK government health rules.
Following the completed expedition, Rolls-Royce is working with Tecnam Airframe and Scandinavian regional airline Widerøe on all-electric passenger aircraft. If all runs on schedule, we could see them ready in 2026.
Written by I Jhonattan González