Rolls-Royce has Announced Plans to Build the Fastest All-Electric Plane in the World
INDUSTRY NEWS | 2 MIN READ
Rolls-Royce will build the world's fastest electric plane with a target speed of 300+ MPH
Funded by ACCEL, the plane delivers 90% energy efficiency with zero emissions
An ambitious team from Rolls-Royce has set out plans to build the world’s fastest electric plane which is expected to reach a target speed of 300+ MPH (480+ KMH).
The specialist team are working tirelessly in a ‘bustling hanger bay” at the far end of Gloucestershire airport in the South West to design and build a plane that is expected to make record books.
The current record for the fastest all-electric plane is currently set at 210 mph by Siemens in 2017, however, Rolls-Royce aim to knock them off the top spot by 2020.
Matheu Parr, ACCEL Project Manager for Rolls-Royce said:
"This plane will be powered by a state-of-the-art electrical system and the most powerful battery ever built for flight. In the year ahead, we’re going to demonstrate its abilities in demanding test environments before going for gold in 2020 from a landing strip on the Welsh coastline."
If successful, the development could lead to electrification of air travel across the globe.
The ACCEL project
The project is part of the government-funded initiative called ACCEL (Accelerating the Electrification of Flight) which brings together a number of partners including the Aerospace Technology Institute and Electro Flight.
To deliver this project, Rolls-Royce will have to build a battery that is powerful enough to beat current speed and performance records whilst still being light enough to fly and not overheat.
“We’re monitoring more than 20,000 data points per second, measuring battery voltage, temperature, and overall health of the powertrain, which is responsible for powering the propellers and generating thrust. We’ve already drawn a series of insights from the unique design and integration challenges,” says Parr. “And we’re gaining the know-how to not only pioneer the field of electric-powered, zero-emissions aviation – but to lead it. At this point, our confidence is sky high.”
Battery - Accel has the most energy-dense battery pack ever assembled for an aircraft, providing enough power to fly 200 miles (London to Paris) on a single charge.
Motors - The propeller is driven by three high power density electric motors designed and manufactured by YASA in the UK.
Powertrain - The all-electric powertrain will run at 750 volts and delivers 90% energy efficiency with zero emissions
Big data - For safety and performance optimisation purposes, sensors will collect in-flight information each second across more than 20,000 points on the powertrain, measuring battery voltage, temperature and general performance metrics
We recruit for cutting edge Aerospace roles at Morson.
(Images and quotes sourced via Rolls-Royce.com)