Rolls Royce all-electric aircraft – ‘Spirit of Innovation’ successfully completed its maiden flight, soaring across skies in the U.K. from the UK Ministry of Defence’s Boscombe Down site for around 15 minutes.
In a statement, the company marked “the beginning of an intense flight-testing phase” which involves the collection of performance data on its electrical power and propulsion system.
According to Rolls Royce, the plane has a 400kW electric powertrain “with the most power-dense battery pack ever assembled for an aircraft.” Eventually, the company wants the plane’s speed to exceed 300 miles per hour.
“We are focused on producing the technology breakthroughs society needs to decarbonize transport across air, land and sea, and capture the economic opportunity of the transition to net-zero,”– Roll Royce CEO Warren East said in a statement.
The Spirit of Innovation is the result of the program – Accelerating the Electrification of Flight or (ACCEL) team for Rolls Royce. The program is partnered with YASA- the electric motor company, and aviation startup-up company- Electroflight.
In terms of funding, half is provided by Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), along with the Department for Business – U.K, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
In a statement issued by U.K. Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the aircraft flight was “a huge step forward in the global transition to cleaner forms of flight.”