Rolls-Royce wants to create the ‘fastest electric plane ever,’ a goal that falls under its Accelerating the Electrification of Flight (ACCEL) initiative. The project is part of Rolls-Royce’s mission to advance aviation with the electrification of flight, opening the door for green air travel. The company is backed by government funding in this effort.
Assuming everything goes according to plan, ACCEL will usher in the fastest all-electric airplane in the world. The company announced last week that it has taken ‘an important step’ in this project by officially unveiling the electric model at the Gloucestershire Airport.
The company explains that its team is starting work on the ACCEL plane’s electrical propulsion system, specifically on integrating this system ahead of the record-breaking flight currently planned for next spring. Rolls-Royce expects the electric plane to reach or exceed 300 MPH.
In addition to unveiling the project plane, Rolls-Royce introduced the ionBird test frame, which will be used to test the electric propulsion system before it is eventually installed on the plane itself. The company has tests planned for over the next few months; among other things, these will include cranking the propulsion system up to its full power.
Among other things, Rolls-Royce says its project plane will feature the most power-dense pack of batteries ever build for a plane. With this pack, the ACCEL aircraft will fly 200 miles on a charge, which is the distance from Paris to London; the company says this is equivalent to the energy needed to power 250 houses.
In the future, electric planes like this project aircraft may make it possible to conduct flights that have a low carbon footprint. The work comes amid the booming all-electric vehicle industry, which has largely been dominated by Tesla.