Rolls-Royce call it the ‘Spirit of Innovation’ and they claim it is the fastest electric plane in the world.   

The all-electric plane reached a staggering maximum speed of 623 km/h (397.4 mph) in recent test flights. It’s clear that electric is the future and Rolls-Royce will at least be taking the lead when developing vehicles with a focus on performance.

Just to be clear, this is NOT the same company that makes the luxury cars we’re all familiar with. That one is Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, this is Rolls-Royce Holdings. They’re the same company but different.

In a recent press release, Rolls-Royce claimed that the Spirit of Innovation managed to break at least three world records for an all-electric aeroplane.

Flight tests were carried out on November 16 at the UK Ministry of Defence’s Boscombe Down facilities. These tests saw the plane reach a top speed of 555.9 km/h (345.2 mph) over 3 km. That was enough to beat the previous record holder, Siemens’ Extra 330 LE Aerobatic, by 213 km/h (132 mph). So, there’s one record.

Next up the Spirit of Innovation reached a top speed of 532.1 km/h (330 mph) over 15 km which is 292.8 km/h (182 mph) faster than the previous record holder.

The third and final record broken was the climb to 3,000 metres (9,842.52 feet) in just 202 seconds, a whole 60 seconds faster than the previous record.

All of these records have yet to be verified by the World Air Sports Federation, but the figures have been submitted.

Credit: Rolls-Royce

Warren East, CEO of Rolls-Royce, said,

“Staking the claim for the all-electric world-speed record is a fantastic achievement for the ACCEL team and Rolls-Royce… The advanced battery and propulsion technology developed for this programme has exciting applications for the Advanced Air Mobility market. Following the world’s focus on the need for action at COP26, this is another milestone that will help make ‘jet zero’ a reality and supports our ambitions to deliver the technology breakthroughs society needs to decarbonise transport across air, land and sea.”

Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, hopes that “This record will show the potential of electric flight and help to unlock the technologies that could make it part of everyday life. The government is proud to back projects like this to leverage the private investment necessary to unlock cleaner, greener aircraft which will allow people to fly as they do now, but in a way that cuts emissions.”

The Spirit of Innovation was able to achieve these record-breaking runs with the use of a 400kW (500+hp) electric powertrain and the “most power-dense propulsion battery pack ever assembled in aerospace.”

If this got your attention, check out NASA’s completely electric air taxis they’re working on.