It’s official: Rolls-Royce’s electric aircraft aptly named the ‘Spirit of Innovation’ is the world’s fastest all-electric vehicle. The British luxury automaker recently announced that Fédération Aéronautique Internationale has verified the two records set by the Spirit of Innovation last November, making it the official fastest electric vehicle in history.
Smashing The Records
The record-breaking flight took place on 16 November 2021. The ‘Spirit of Innovation’ reached a speed of 555.9 km/h (345.4 mph) over 3 kilometers, beating the previous record from 2017 by an impressive 213.04 km/h (132mph). Further test runs were conducted at the Boscombe Down experimental aircraft testing site. In these runs, the aircraft even achieved 532.1km/h (330 mph) over 15 kilometers: 292.8km/h (182 mph) better than the old record. The ‘Spirit of Innovation’ is confirmed to have achieved a maximum speed of 623km/h (387.4mph), cementing its world’s fastest all-electric vehicle title.
The Spirit of Innovation is a part of the Accelerating the Electrification of Flight project partially funded by the UK Government. Half of the project’s funding comes from the Aerospace Technology Institute, Innovate UK, and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. They have partnered with Rolls-Royce and aviation start-up Electroflight, both well-known for pioneering cutting-edge technologies, in order to deliver environmentally-friendly solutions to modern problems. The guiding idea behind the project is to make low-emission commercial flights a reality, and the all-electric world-speed record certainly offers hope for decarbonizing passenger flights in the future.
Warren East, CEO of Rolls-Royce referred to the project as a milestone in attempts to decarbonize transport and to ultimately turn ‘jet zero’ flights into reality. Dr. Tim Woolmer, Chief Technology Officer and Founder of the automotive powertrain supplier YASA confirmed that the project brings us one step closer to making a dream of emissions-free commercial flights a reality.
The Spirit of Innovation truly is a stunning technical achievement that is sure to inspire the next generation of aerospace engineers. The public consensus is that this outstanding project is not only brilliantly executed but also, like any Rolls-Royce, absolutely gorgeous.
Learn more at Rolls-Royce.com.