03 Jan 2020
Rolls-Royce is developing world's fastest electric plane: See pictures
As NASA continues with the vision of building the X-59 quiet supersonic jet, Rolls-Royce is setting its eyes on mastering the field of electric flight.
The company, known for its luxury cars, is developing what it thinks would eventually be the fastest all-electric plane on the planet, capable of reaching, perhaps even surpassing, speeds up to 500 km/hr.
Here's all about it.
'Accelerating the Electrification of Flight'
The high-performance electric aircraft is being developed as part of Rolls-Royce's 'Accelerating the Electrification of Flight' or ACCEL project.
It looks just like any other single-seater plane. But, on the inside, you get powerful electric motors and a battery that can store enough energy to beat speed/performance records and is light and stable enough to fly without overheating.
Battery pack capable of powering 250 homes
The battery pack of the plane, which Rolls-Royce describes as the "most power-dense" unit ever assembled for an aircraft, is capable of powering 250 homes or a flight from London to Paris (a little over 320 km) on one charge.
It carries 6,000 cells and a cooling system to meet the flight requirements, something that no other project of this kind has on offer.
Electric motors boast 500Hp of power with minimal noise
The ACCEL plane packs three 750R lightweight electric motors that are tuned to churn out a whopping 500 horsepower for the flight.
Plus, the company says that the propeller blades of the plane spin at lower revolutions per minute in order to ensure that the vehicle flies smoothly and doesn't make noise.
This would allow the plane to operate outside of regular hours.
This will eventually make air travel more accessible
"More silent and economically efficient aeroplanes will allow new commuter concepts to offer transport services beyond the traditional flight routes," Rolls-Royce stated. "This has the potential to reinvigorate small regional airports and to make flight transport more accessible to large parts of society."
90% energy efficient powertrain, with no emissions
The powertrain of ACCEL will use Rolls-Royce's latest Electric car technology to ensure 90% energy efficiency while ensuring no emissions.
In fact, the company claims that the carbon footprint of the plane, when ready, will be smaller than that of your refrigerator.
To note, the plane's vertical take-off and landing capabilities will play a critical role in reducing emissions.
First flight scheduled for 2020
The company now plans to conduct some propulsion tests before moving on to the first real flight of the ACCEL plane, which is slated to take place over Great Britain in the spring of 2020.