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Article from BTNews 28 SEPTEMBER 2020

Electric Rolls-Royce

Now completed is the ground testing of the Rolls-Royce powered world’s fastest all-electric aircraft.

All the technology has been verified on a full-scale replica of the plane’s core, called an ‘ionBird’, including a 500hp electric powertrain powerful enough to set world speed records and a battery with enough energy to supply 250 homes.

The plane is part of a Rolls-Royce initiative named ACCEL, short for ‘Accelerating the Electrification of Flight’. The ACCEL project group includes key partners YASA, the electric motor and controller manufacturer, and aviation start-up Electroflight.

The team has been developing the technology while adhering to the UK Government’s social distancing and other health guidelines and the systems will soon be integrated into the ‘Spirit of Innovation’ prototype.

Rolls-Royce have tested each and every component of the system, including running the propeller up to full speed (approximately 2,400rpm) using the most power-dense battery pack ever assembled for aircraft propulsion. When at full power during the flight-testing phase, it will propel the aircraft to more than 300mph setting a new world speed record for electric flight. Over 6,000 cells are packaged in the battery for maximum safety, minimum weight and full thermal protection.

Bremont will be the official timing partner for the all-electric speed record attempt. The British luxury watchmaker has also helped develop the design of the plane’s cockpit which will feature a stopwatch, which the company has specially machined at its Henley-on-Thames manufacturing facility.

The first flight is planned for later this year with the aim to beat the current all-electric flight world record early next year.

Half of the project’s funding is provided by the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), in partnership with the
Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Innovate UK.


www.yasa.com      www.electro-flight.com


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