The aircraft — dubbed the “Spirit of Innovation” — attained a maximum speed of 387.4 mph (623km/h) in flight, which Rolls-Royce said it believed makes it “the world’s fastest all-electric vehicle.”
The aircraft uses a 400kW electric powertrain, and the most power-dense propulsion battery pack ever constructed in aerospace, according to Rolls-Royce.
It also uses the most power-dense propulsion battery pack ever constructed in aerospace, according to Rolls-Royce.
Test pilot and Rolls-Royce director of flight operations Phil O’Dell, who accomplished the top speed, said “this is the highlight of my career and is an incredible achievement for the whole team.”
“Staking the claim for the all-electric world-speed record is a fantastic achievement for the ACCEL team and Rolls-Royce,” said the company’s CEO Warren East.
UK business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the aircraft “will show the potential of electric flight and help to unlock the technologies that could make it part of everyday life.”
“The government is proud to back projects like this to leverage the private investment necessary to unlock cleaner, greener aircraft which will allow people to fly as they do now, but in a way that cuts emissions,” Kwarteng added.