Rolls-Royce has successfully completed testing of its innovative technology that will power the world’s fastest all-electric plane. The company built a full-scale replica of the plane’s core, called an ‘ionBird’, including a 500hp electric powertrain powerful enough to set world speed records and a battery with enough energy to supply 250 homes. One of the tests included running the propeller up to full speed (approximately 2,400 rpm) using the most power-dense battery pack ever assembled for aircraft propulsion. Read more for two videos and additional information.
When the core is running at full power during the flight-testing phase, it will propel the aircraft to more than 300mph setting a new world speed record for electric flight. Currently, over 6,000 cells are packaged in the battery for maximum safety, minimum weight and full thermal protection.
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The significance of reaching this milestone should not be underestimated. The ACCEL team is pioneering the integration of high-performance batteries, motors and drives to deliver an electric propulsion system in an ambitious flight test program. These technologies and the systems integration needed to utilize them hold great potential for future sustainable aviation, which is why the ATI is proud to support the project,” said Mark Scully, Head of Technology for Advanced Systems & Propulsion at the Aerospace Technology Institute.