https://www.cnbc.com/2021/09/16/all-ele ... light.html
Rolls-Royce’s first all-electric aircraft has completed its maiden flight, soaring across skies in the U.K. for around 15 minutes this week.
In a statement, the company said the aircraft’s trip on Wednesday marked “the beginning of an intense flight-testing phase” that would involve the collection of performance data on its electrical power and propulsion system.
According to Rolls-Royce, the airplane — dubbed the “Spirit of Innovation” — utilized a 400 kilowatt electric powertrain “with the most power-dense battery pack ever assembled for an aircraft.” Eventually, the firm wants the aircraft’s speed to exceed 300 miles per hour.
The Spirit of Innovation is the result of a program called ACCEL, or Accelerating the Electrification of Flight. Partners in the initiative include electric motor and controller specialist YASA and Electroflight, which Rolls-Royce described as an “aviation start-up.” YASA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz.
In terms of funding, 50% has come from the Aerospace Technology Institute in partnership with the U.K. government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Innovate U.K.
In a statement issued alongside Rolls-Royce’s announcement, U.K. Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the aircraft’s flight was “a huge step forward in the global transition to cleaner forms of flight.”
Video of the plane on its maiden flight: