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Rolls-Royce looks to smash speed record with world's fastest electric airplane to fly from London to Paris nonstop

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Old January 4th 19, 07:41 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Larry Dighera
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Default Rolls-Royce looks to smash speed record with world's fastest electric airplane to fly from London to Paris nonstop


Rolls-Royce looks to smash speed record with the world's fastest
electric airplane

David Szondy

January 2nd, 2019
An audio version of this article is available to New Atlas Plus
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The electric aircraft will fly at over 300 mph (480 km/h)(Credit:

A partnership led by Rolls-Royce is building an all-electric aircraft
that may smash into the record books with a top speed of over 300 mph
(480 km/h) beating the previous record of 210 mph (338 km/h) set in
2017 by Siemens. Scheduled to fly in 2020, the zero-emission electric
speedster is being developed as part of the Accelerating the
Electrification of Flight (ACCEL) and is billed as a leader of the
"third wave" of aviation.

Gloucestershire airport outside of Cheltenham, England may seem like
just another provincial airfield, but it's the base for an attempt by
engineers, designers, and data specialists from Roll-Royce, electric
motor and controller manufacturer YASA and the aviation start-up
Electroflight to create a single-seater prop-plane that will take
electric aircraft to a whole new level.

Partly funded by the British government, ACCEL draws on Formula E
expertise in an effort to build an electric aircraft that tops out at
over 300 mph to set a new e-plane record, and potentially one day even
exceed the 1931 Schneider Trophy record set by a Supermarine S.6B that
used a Rolls-Royce "R" engine to reach 343 mph (552 km/h) in 1931.

To achieve this, the Rolls-Royce team is working on a battery pack of
6,000 cells that the company claims is the most energy-dense to ever
be installed in an aircraft. When up and running, the powertrain will
run at 750 V and the aircraft will boast a maximum power of 750 kW
that's enough to power 250 homes. This will be cooled by an Active
Thermal Management System Cooling radiator and carry enough charge to
fly from London to Paris nonstop.

According to Rolls-Royce, the key to the design is to not just make a
big enough battery, but also one that won't overheat, is light enough
for flight, and can be installed in a stable airframe. The batteries
feed into three 750R lightweight e-motors built by YASA. The three
electrically-actuated blades of the single propeller operate at 2,400
RPM for a more stable ride with an efficiency of up to 90 percent and
zero emissions. Meanwhile, sensors will monitor 20,000 points in the
powertrain to provide the engineers with plenty of data on

"This plane will be powered by a state-of-the-art electrical system
and the most powerful battery ever built for flight," says Matheu
Parr, ACCEL Project Manager for Rolls-Royce. "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

Source: Rolls Royce:

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