A Glimpse into the Future of Flight

In September, we had the privilege of viewing Rolls-Royce’s all-electric Spirit of Innovation Aircraft up-close. The project is called ACCEL: and is focused on accelerating the electrification of flight while breaking records to combat climate change.
Image of the Spirit of Innovation's first flight

Photo credit: Rolls-Royce

Project Aim

The focus of the ACCEL project is to develop the technology and capability necessary to enable power and propulsion systems for the advanced air mobility market.

Earlier in September, the aircraft took to the skies for the first time and flew for 15 minutes marking the start of an intense flight-testing phase allowing Rolls-Royce to collect valuable date on the aircraft’s electrical power and propulsion system.

Later this year, the zero-emission Spirit of Innovation aircraft is expected to break world records with a target speed of 300+ MPH.

The Spirit of Innovation’s Technology Partners

Collaboration often leads to the best success and this is certainly the case with this ground-breaking project. Rolls-Royce has partnered with a number of leading UK experts and have support from the UK Government.

50 per cent of the project’s funding is provided by the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), in partnership with the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Innovate UK.

Rolls-Royce is working with YASA (UK), a manufacturer of high-power, lightweight electric motors and controllers used in automotive, aerospace and industrial applications. Finally, Rolls-Royce is supported by Electroflight (UK), a start-up specialising in high performance electric powertrains.


It is apparent that Government and industry are working together to make sure the UK plays a full role in delivering net zero by 2050 and in the process securing high value UK jobs, and supporting the global aerospace industry achieve net zero goals.

Good luck Rolls-Royce for your record-breaking attempt later this year!

To find about more about sustainability in aerospace, visit our Sustainable Aerospace Hub.