Most know Rolls-Royce for its iconic luxury cars, but in aviation and aeronautics this British brand is known for its turbine engines in countless commercial aircraft. In fact, this brand has been present in the aeronautical world since the beginning of World War I and reached a peak of popularity during World War II due to the Merlin engines that powered the famous Spitfire and Mustang fighters.
The British brand recently took a huge step into the future of aviation with the first flight of its all-electric plane. The plane named as Spirit of Innovation completed a 15-minute flight last September 15th.
According to the company itself, this event marks the beginning of a long and intensive phase of tests to collect data on the apparatus and propulsion system. Unfortunately for the British brand, the flight has already taken place a year after the original date and after 6 months of tests related to land mobility.
O Spirit of Innovation is a single-seater airplane that uses a battery with 6000 cells that, according to Rolls-Royce itself, is the “densest battery ever mounted on an aircraft”. In addition, the three-blade propeller is powered by a set of three all-electric motors that have a combined power of around 536 horsepower making the plane capable of reaching 480 km/h, in theory.
The British brand is also already working on its next project together with a small aircraft manufacturer, Tecnam. This time the objective is to create an air taxi, an airplane capable of transporting a reduced number of passengers on short-distance journeys.
This is not the first time that Rolls-Royce has teamed up with another company to build an electric plane, and the last time both Siemens and Airbus were involved and the concept of the “E-FanX” was born. mid-size commercial aircraft with hybrid engines.
Although electric planes are still in their infancy, it is the efforts of companies like Rolls-Royce that will succeed in changing today’s most polluting mobility sector.