The Spirit of Innovation aeroplane hit a top speed of 623km/h (387.4mph) during flights on Tuesday (16 November), the UK company said. It has submitted data to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), which controls and certifies world aeronautical and astronautical records.
Flying over the Ministry of Defence’s Boscombe Down experimental aircraft testing site in Wiltshire, the aircraft reportedly hit 555.9km/h over three kilometres. The plane also achieved 532.1km/h over 15 kilometres – 292.8km/h faster than the previous record – and broke the fastest time to climb to 3,000m by 60 seconds, with a time of three minutes and 22 seconds, according to Rolls-Royce data.
The aircraft was propelled by a 400kW (500+hp) electric powertrain, and what Rolls-Royce called “the most power-dense propulsion battery pack ever assembled in aerospace”. The company worked with aviation energy storage specialist Electroflight and automotive powertrain supplier Yasa.
The speed achieved by the test pilot, Rolls-Royce director of flight operations Phill O’Dell, was more than 213.04 km/h faster than the previous record set by the Siemens eAircraft-powered Extra 330 LE Aerobatic aircraft in 2017.
Read more here