Rolls Royce’s all electric airplane, dubbed the ‘Spirit of Innovation’, took to the skies propelled by its 400kW (500+hp) electric powertrain with the most power-dense battery pack ever assembled for an aircraft. This signals a huge step forward in the global transition to cleaner forms of flight.
This is another step towards the plane’s world-record attempt and another milestone on the aviation industry’s journey towards decarbonisation.
We are focused on producing the technology breakthroughs society needs to decarbonise transport across air, land and sea, and capture the economic opportunity of the transition to net zero. This is not only about breaking a world record; the advanced battery and propulsion technology developed for this programme has exciting applications for the Urban Air Mobility market and can help make ‘jet zero’ a reality.Warren East, CEO, Rolls-Royce
The aircraft took off from the UK Ministry of Defence’s Boscombe Down site, and flew for approximately 15 minutes on 15th September. The site has a long heritage of experimental flights and the first flight marks the beginning of an intense flight-testing phase in which they will be collecting valuable performance data on the aircraft’s electrical power and propulsion system.
In June, the company announced its pathway to net zero carbon emissions – a year on from joining the UN Race to Zero campaign. They are committed to ensuring their new products will be compatible with net zero operation by 2030, and all products will be compatible with net zero by 2050.
Rolls Royce has customers in more than 150 countries, comprising more than 400 airlines and leasing customers, 160 armed forces and navies, and more than 5,000 power and nuclear customers.