Subscribe Free
in General Aviation

Rolls-Royce completes taxiing of its ‘Spirit of Innovation’ aircraft

Posted 1 March 2021 · Add Comment

Rolls-Royce has completed the taxiing of its ‘Spirit of Innovation’ aircraft, the latest milestone on its journey to becoming the world’s fastest all-electric plane.

Accel, the all-electric "Spirit of Innovation" aircraft, developed by Rolls Royce. Image: Rolls-Royce

For the first time, the plane powered along a runway propelled by its powerful 500hp [400kw] electric powertrain and the latest energy storage technology developed to set world speed records and enable a new generation of urban air mobility concepts.

 

The taxiing of the plane is a critical test of the integration of the aircraft’s propulsion system, ahead of actual flight-testing. The first flight is planned for the Spring and when at full power the combination of electrical powertrain and advanced battery system will power the aircraft to more than 300mph, setting a new world speed record for electric flight.

 

Minister for Business Paul Scully said: “The taxiing of Rolls-Royce’s ‘Spirit of Innovation’ forms part of an exciting new chapter in aviation as we move towards its first flight in the spring. Set to be the world’s fastest electric plane, this pioneering aircraft highlights the value of close collaboration between industry and government.

 

“The UK is committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Through government grants for research and development, we’re championing innovation in the aerospace sector to meet this ambitious target as we build back greener from the pandemic.”

 

The ACCEL programme, short for ‘Accelerating the Electrification of Flight,’. includes key partners YASA, the electric motor and controller manufacturer, and aviation start-up Electroflight. The ACCEL team have continued to innovate while adhering to the UK Government’s social distancing and other health guidelines.

 

Rob Watson, Director – Rolls-Royce Electrical, said: “Electrification of flight is an important part of our sustainability strategy as we aim for net zero carbon by 2050. Taxiing of the ‘Spirit of Innovation’ is an incredible milestone for the ACCEL team as we progress to first flight and the world-record attempt later this year. For the first time, the plane propelled itself forward using the power from an advanced battery and propulsion system that is ground-breaking in terms of electrical technology. This system and the capabilities being developed will help position Rolls-Royce as a technology leader offering power systems to the Urban Air Mobility market.”

 

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.

 

Gary Elliott, chief executive officer of the Aerospace Technology Institute, said: “The Aerospace Technology Institute is proud to co-fund the ACCEL project. The aims of ACCEL align with the long-term objectives of the ATI strategy: to fund exciting and innovative technology development that secures a lead for the UK in next-generation zero-emission propulsion, and to continue to support highly-skilled jobs and generate economic return for the benefit of the UK. Our congratulations to the ACCEL team for reaching this latest milestone against a very challenging backdrop.”

 

He added: “The characteristics that ‘air-taxis’ require from batteries are very similar to what is being developed for the ‘Spirit of Innovation’ so that it can reach record-breaking speeds. Rolls-Royce will be using the technology from the ACCEL project and applying it to products for the market. We are bringing a portfolio of motors, power electronics and batteries into the general aerospace, urban air mobility and small commuter aircraft sectors as part of our electrification strategy.”

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

Airbus reports half-year 2021 results

Airbus has reported consolidated financial results for the half-year (H1) ended 30 June 2021.

TRAINING: Virtual Reality Trials looking to transform future Fast Jet Training

Ascent Flight Training, in collaboration with the MOD (it’s UK Military Flying Training System customer), is currently undertaking virtual reality trials at RAF Valley as part of the on-going development of innovative solutions for

Middle East cargo carriers see international volumes rise in June

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released data for global air cargo markets for June showing a 9.9% improvement on pre-COVID-19 performance (June 2019).

Qatar Airways engages with IATA on Environmental Sustainability Training

Qatar Airways has selected the Certificate of Advanced Studies in Environmental Sustainability in Aviation Program offered in partnership between the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the University of Geneva.

Gulf Air reward a number of its front line staff

Gulf Air has rewarded a number of its front line staff in appreciation for their outstanding and exceptional services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

TRAINING: India Gets Two AL-55I Engines for Combat Trainers

India’s home-made HJT-36 combat trainer aircraft inched closer towards final stage of certification tests after it received the AL-55I turbojet engines from Russia.

WDS SK2601090322
See us at
Aviation Africa 2021 BTOCDAS21_BTAviation MENA 2022World Defence Show 2022