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The Rolls-Royce Spirit of Innovation electric aircraft has claimed the title of the world's fastest electric vehicle when it hit a top speed of 623km/h.
The British aerospace company claims that the Spirit of Innovation set a total of three world records for speed on the 16th of November in the skies above England. Rolls-Royce claims that the Spirit of Innovation electric aircraft set world records for top speed over 3 and 15 kilometres and for the fastest climb to 3,000 metres.
The Rolls-Royce Spirit of Innovation hit a top speed of 555.9km/h over three kilometres. The speed achieved by test pilot and Rolls-Royce Director of Flight Operations Phill O'Dell in the ‘Spirit of Innovation' was 213.04km/h faster than the previous record. The electric Rolls-Royce aircraft also managed to hit a top speed of 532.1km/h over 15 kilometres beating the previous record by a massive 292.8km/h.
The final record claimed by the Spirit of Innovation was for the title of the fastest climber to 3,000 metres which the British aircraft achieved in just 202 seconds, 60 seconds faster than the previous record. Rolls- Royce has sent the data for these runs to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) - the World Air Sports Federation - which controls and certifies world aeronautical and astronautical records.
Rolls-Royce also claims that during its record-breaking runs, the Spirit of Innovation hit a maximum speed of 623km/h, which the company believes makes the aircraft the fastest electric vehicle in the world today.
Speaking about the achievements, Warren East, CEO, Rolls-Royce, said: "Staking the claim for the all-electric world-speed record is a fantastic achievement for the ACCEL team and Rolls-Royce. I would like to thank our partners and especially Electroflight for their collaboration in achieving this pioneering breakthrough.
The advanced battery and propulsion technology developed for this programme has exciting applications for the Advanced Air Mobility market. Following the world's focus on the need for action at COP26, this is another milestone that will help make ‘jet zero' a reality and supports our ambitions to deliver the technology breakthroughs society needs to decarbonise transport across air, land and sea."
Powering the Rolls-Royce Spirit of Innovation is the most power-dense propulsion battery pack ever assembled in aerospace which has 6480 cells which the company claims generates enough power to charge 7,500 smartphones. The Spirit of Innovation's dense battery pack provides power to three electric motors that produce 535bhp which is sent to the propellor on the nose that rotates at 2,200rpm.
The Spirit of Innovation's electrical systems run at a rather high 750 volts. The battery pack providing this high voltage output is kept cool by Portuguese cork, which is the same cork used to bottle wine.
The Spirit of Innovation was developed using the airframe of the Sharp Nemesis NXT single-seat, single-engine, low wing, retractable gear kit, racing aircraft. The Nemesis NXT is 7 metres long and has a wingspan of 7.3 metres.
Thoughts On the Rolls-Royce Spirit Of Innovation
The Rolls-Royce Spirit of Innovation shows just how fast electric planes can currently get and shows us the future of aircraft racing. If this is the future of flying, we sure are all for it.