Rolls-Royce’s electric plane takes to the skies for the first time – Telegraph.co.uk

Rolls-Royce’s first all-electric plane has completed its maiden flight ahead of a world record attempt later this year. 

The Spirit of Innovation’s 15-minute flight took place at the Boscombe Down military testing site on Wednesday, powered by the most “power-dense” battery pack assembled for an aircraft, the company said. 

Rolls said the 400kW electric powertrain was equivalent to 500 horsepower. It will be used in a bid to set a new world record for an electric flight speed of more than 300 miles an hour with the plane later this year. The current record stands at 210mph.

Warren East, the chief executive, said: “The first flight of the Spirit of Innovation is a great achievement. We are focused on producing the technology breakthroughs society needs to decarbonise transport across air, land and sea, and capture the economic opportunity of the transition to net zero.

“This is not only about breaking a world record; the advanced battery and propulsion technology developed for this programme has exciting applications for the urban air mobility market and can help make ‘jet zero’ a reality.”

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