Though better known for its luxury car offerings, Rolls-Royce has a long history of producing aircraft engines spanning back to the introduction of the British firm’s V-12-engined “Eagle” in 1915. Over a century later and Rolls is still producing plane powertrains, though it’s now announced the next step forward in its aero-engine evolution with a new electric plane.
Born out of the company’s ACCEL initiative (short for “accelerating the electrification of flight”), the single-seater zero-emissions flyer was developed with the goal of creating the world’s fastest electric plane, with the ACCEL reportedly capable of speeds of more than 300mph. Capable of delivering over 500hp with a 90% energy efficiency, the plane’s hair-raising speeds are made possible thanks to a propeller-driven by a trio of HPD axial electric motors pulling juice from a 6,000 cell battery pack that’s being touted as the most power-dense unit ever seen on an aircraft. In order to bring the ambitious project to fruition, Rolls joined forces with a number of industry experts including electrical components purveyors YASA and a new aviation outfit called Electroflight, plus the UK’s Aerospace Technology Institue which is providing half of the project’s funding. Development is still ongoing, though the plane is scheduled to take aim at the world record attempt in the Spring of 2020.