Rolls-Royce is leading a highly specialised challenge to build the worlds fastest all-electric aircraft, with the zero-emissions plane expected to make a run for the record books with a target speed of 300+ MPH (480+ KMH).
Inside a bustling hangar bay at the far end of Gloucestershire airport in South West England, a team of British engineers, designers and data specialists recruited from across Rolls-Royce and beyond have set out to make history.
They are building a high-performance electric aeroplane unlike anything the world has ever seen. Scheduled to take to the skies over Great Britain in 2020, the aircraft will reach a speed of 300 mph – and quite likely more – making it the fastest all-electric plane in history.
This run for the record books is no stunt. It’s part of a Rolls-Royce initiative called ACCEL – short for 'Accelerating the Electrification of Flight' – that is intended to pioneer a third wave of aviation in support of Rolls-Royce’s strategy to champion electrification.
ACCEL is partly funded by the UK government and involves a host of partners including electric motor and controller manufacturer YASA and the aviation start-up Electroflight.
Matheu Parr, ACCEL Project Manager for Rolls-Royce, said: “This plane will be powered by a state-of-the-art electrical system and the most powerful battery ever built for flight. In the year ahead, we’re going to demonstrate its abilities in demanding test environments before going for gold in 2020 from a landing strip on the Welsh coastline.”