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Breathe
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All-electric aircraft from Rolls-Royce completes maiden flight in Britain

Fri Sep 17, 2021 1:25 pm

Congrats to Rolls-Royce and other partners involved.

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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yqp9jhR1nnQ
 
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JetBuddy
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Re: All-electric aircraft from Rolls-Royce completes maiden flight in Britain

Fri Sep 17, 2021 1:47 pm

That's a really good looking aircraft.

Congrats Rolls-Royce
 
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lightsaber
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Re: All-electric aircraft from Rolls-Royce completes maiden flight in Britain

Fri Sep 17, 2021 2:29 pm

The aircraft has a range of 200 miles:
https://www.inceptivemind.com/rolls-roy ... c%20flight.

So this is a fun little aircraft. I like the looks, it seems to be stylized as a pre-WW2 racer. I'm trying to understand the bulges in the "engine compartment". As an addict of "Greg's Airplanes and Automobiles" on YouTube, I love finding out what every feature of an aircraft is for. I suspect there is more styling than purely required going on. Is there a view under the hood?
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCynGrI ... gHJAIp9oSg

Congrats. Depending on the price, I could see a market for this plane. I really hope for a 9 passenger model with more range. Something to do Island hopping.

Lightsaber
 
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Re: All-electric aircraft from Rolls-Royce completes maiden flight in Britain

Fri Sep 17, 2021 9:38 pm

lightsaber wrote:
So this is a fun little aircraft. I like the looks, it seems to be stylized as a pre-WW2 racer. I'm trying to understand the bulges in the "engine compartment". As an addict of "Greg's Airplanes and Automobiles" on YouTube, I love finding out what every feature of an aircraft is for. I suspect there is more styling than purely required going on. Is there a view under the hood?

Lightsaber



I suspect that the bulges may be to allow airflow around for cooling off both batteries and powertrain. I suspect that the sleek racer design helps with keeping some forward CG in the air due to the weight of the batteries. Definitely one of the absolute coolest electric aircraft that I have seen so far!
 
Noshow
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Re: All-electric aircraft from Rolls-Royce completes maiden flight in Britain

Sat Sep 18, 2021 9:22 am

What would this be good for in real life? Some fast military drone?
 
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PM
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Re: All-electric aircraft from Rolls-Royce completes maiden flight in Britain

Sat Sep 18, 2021 9:51 am

JetBuddy wrote:
That's a really good looking aircraft.

Congrats Rolls-Royce

It's a modified NXT Racer (hence the registration). The design has been around for well over a decade.
 
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PM
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Re: All-electric aircraft from Rolls-Royce completes maiden flight in Britain

Sat Sep 18, 2021 9:52 am

Noshow wrote:
What would this be good for in real life? Some fast military drone?

It's really just a technology demonstrator.
 
Noshow
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Re: All-electric aircraft from Rolls-Royce completes maiden flight in Britain

Sat Sep 18, 2021 10:13 am

This one specifically yes. But using high density batteries for some fast electric vehicle must have some use? Many/all other companies go for payload or range or VTOL.
 
GDB
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Re: All-electric aircraft from Rolls-Royce completes maiden flight in Britain

Sat Sep 18, 2021 10:49 am

Noshow wrote:
What would this be good for in real life? Some fast military drone?


Same as any technology demonstrator, in this case for electric power, with a record in it’s sights, like many other demonstrators in aviation history.
With a view to develop it further, again the history of aviation history has numerous examples.
 
docmtl
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Re: All-electric aircraft from Rolls-Royce completes maiden flight in Britain

Sat Sep 18, 2021 3:15 pm

Inspired by 1931 Scheider's Trophy's winner, the Supermarine S6A.

Even the colour scheme is the same. Check it out:

https://www.airliners.net/photo/UK-Air- ... 6A/2599757

Beautiful sleek design :-)

docmtl
 
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JetBuddy
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Re: All-electric aircraft from Rolls-Royce completes maiden flight in Britain

Sat Sep 18, 2021 3:29 pm

PM wrote:
JetBuddy wrote:
That's a really good looking aircraft.

Congrats Rolls-Royce

It's a modified NXT Racer (hence the registration). The design has been around for well over a decade.


That's probably why it looks familiar.
 
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JannEejit
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Re: All-electric aircraft from Rolls-Royce completes maiden flight in Britain

Sat Sep 18, 2021 4:39 pm

In a more practical sense, Loganair in conjunction with Cranfield University are currently embroiled in a research project aimed at electrically powering a Britten-Norman Islander, which if successful would carry passengers on it's short inter-island hops around The Orkney Islands.

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