rolls-royce unveils one-seater electric plane in bid to break speed records
 

rolls-royce unveils one-seater electric plane in bid to break speed records

rolls-royce has unveiled what it hopes will be the world’s fastest all-electric aeroplane. the british luxury automobile maker unveiled the single-passenger, zero-emissions ACCEL project plane at the gloucestershire airport in england, which is predicted to reach a top speed of over 300 mph (480 km/h) early next year.

rolls-royce unveils one-seater electric plane in bid to break speed records

 

 

the plane is part of a rolls-royce initiative called ACCEL – short for ‘accelerating the electrification of flight’ and is a key part of rolls-royce’s strategy to champion electrification. the project involves a host of partners including electric motor and controller manufacturer YASA and the aviation start- up electroflight. 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.

rolls-royce unveils one-seater electric plane in bid to break speed records

 

 

the ionbird test airframe, named after the electrical technology propelling the aircraft, was also unveiled. the ionbird will be used to test the propulsion system before it is fully integrated into the plane. planned tests over the next couple of months include running the propulsion system up to full power as well as key airworthiness checks.

rolls-royce unveils one-seater electric plane in bid to break speed records

 

 

ACCEL will have the most power-dense battery pack ever assembled for an aircraft, providing enough energy to fuel 250 homes or fly 200 miles (london to paris) on a single charge. its 6,000 cells are packaged to minimise weight and maximise thermal protection. an advanced cooling system ensures optimum performance by directly cooling cells during the high-power record runs.

rolls-royce unveils one-seater electric plane in bid to break speed records

 

 

‘the UK has a proud heritage and enviable worldwide reputation for advances in aviation technology,’ business minister nadhim zahawi said. ‘the electrification of flight has the potential to revolutionise the way we travel and transform aviation for decades to come – ensuring we can travel worldwide while maintaining a low carbon footprint. backed by government funding, rolls-royce is pushing the boundaries even further, and this new innovation could become the fastest electric plane ever.’

rolls-royce unveils one-seater electric plane in bid to break speed records

 

 

‘building the world’s fastest all-electric aircraft is nothing less than a revolutionary step change in aviation and we are delighted to unveil the ACCEL project plane,’ rob watson, director of rolls-royce electrical said. ‘this is not only an important step towards the world-record attempt but will also help to develop rolls-royce’s capabilities and ensure that we are at the forefront of developing technology that can play a fundamental role in enabling the transition to a low carbon global economy.’

rolls-royce unveils one-seater electric plane in bid to break speed records

 

 

the propeller is driven by three high power density axial electric motors that spin at a far lower RPM than regular blades to deliver a more stable and far quieter ride. combined they’ll continuously deliver more than 500 horsepower for the record run. the all-electric powertrain delivers power with 90% energy efficiency and of course zero emissions.

rolls-royce unveils one-seater electric plane in bid to break speed records

 

 

‘YASA’s electric motor technology is ideal for powering electric flight – the advantages we see on the road are amplified in the air where reducing size and weight for a given power and torque is even more important,’ chris harris, CEO, YASA said. ‘we share the same passion for engineering as the team at rolls-royce and are delighted to partner with them on ACCEL, a project that’s ushering in a new age of sustainable, electric flight.’

rolls-royce unveils one-seater electric plane in bid to break speed records

 

 

the ACCEL project is just one of the ways in which rolls-royce is developing lower carbon power. this includes partnering with airbus on the e-fan x technology demonstrator project, which is an important stepping stone towards hybrid-electric commercial aircraft at the scale of today’s single-aisle family. we are also working with widerøe, the largest regional airline in scandinavia on a joint research programme on zero-emissions aviation. the programme is part of the airline´s ambition to replace and electrify its regional fleet of 30+ planes by 2030.

 

project info

 

company: rolls-royce
collaborators: electroflight
type: electric airplane
manufacturer: YASA
funding: aerospace technology institute (ATI)

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

    PRODUCT LIBRARY

    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    technology news

    ×
    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    504,237 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample
    designboom magazine