When many hear “Rolls-Royce”, they can be forgiven for first thinking of luxury automobiles, not, necessarily, aeroplanes. And that’s unfortunate, especially considering the strides Rolls-Royce has made—and continues to make—in the airspace industry. One such advance is the Rolls-Royce Accel Electric Airplane.
The Accel is being hailed as a “high performance” electric plane, meaning that it is fast—around 300 miles per hour fast. That’s fast enough for the Accel to enter the record books as the fastest electric plane ever. The plane is being built by a collaboration of Rolls-Royce, YASA (a British manufacturer of electric motors and controllers), the Aerospace Technology Institute, and Electroflight (an aviation startup).
Accel, short for “Accelerating the Electrification of Flight), is powered by what Matheu Parr, the project manager, describes as “the most powerful battery ever built for flight.” The battery has 6,000 cells and can fly from London to Paris, 360km, without stopping. The plane uses three 750R electric motors that produce 200kW of power.
The team is carefully testing and monitoring the plane, gathering more than 20,000 data points per second. “We’re gaining the know-how to not only pioneer the field of electric powered, zero-emissions aviation, but to lead it,” states Parr.
“At this point, our confidence is sky high.”