Rolls-Royce has completed tests of its world’s faster all-electric aircraft on a full-scale replica of the plane’s core called “ionBird”.
The aircraft will be powered by a 500hp electric powertrain with enough potential to set world record speeds for electric aircraft and a battery density to supply 250 homes, the engine manufacturer said in a statement on September 24, 2020.
During the testing, ionBird’s propeller ran at a full speed of 2,400 rpm while powered by a 6,000 cell battery pack uniquely designed for aircraft propulsion. According to Rolls-Royce, the engine will propel the plane to over 480 kilometers per hour (300 miles per hour) when at full force.
The ionBird will be capable of covering a range of over 320 kilometers (200 miles), which is considerably small for an aircraft but a major achievement for an all-electric one.
Roll-Royce undertook the ionBird project in accordance with its ‘Accelerating the Electrification of Flight” (ACCEL) initiative that aims to reach net zero carbon by 2050 and is funded by the UK government.
According to the press release, Bremont, a British luxury watchmaker, has helped the engine manufacturer to develop and design the ionBird’s cockpit. The company will also be Rolls-Royce’s official timing partner for the aircraft’s all-electric speed record attempt.