To date, the British company Rolls-Royce is the world's second-largest maker of aircraft engines. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is now a subsidiary of the German BMW Group after it licensed the rights to use the name of the Rolls-Royce brand.
The company announced the production of the fastest electric race plane. According to the developers, the new product exceeds the current record holder by almost 150 km/h in flight speed.
Rob Watson, the director of Rolls-Royce Electrical, said:
Building the world's fastest all-electric aircraft is nothing less than a revolutionary step change in aviation, and we are delighted to unveil the ACCEL project plane. This is not only an important step toward the world-record attempt, but will also help to develop Rolls-Royce's capabilities and ensure that we are at the forefront of developing technology that can play a fundamental role in enabling the transition to a low-carbon global economy.
The power of the electric airplane engine will be 1,005 horsepower, the maximum speed will be about 482 km/h, and one battery array charge can be enough for it to fly up to 320 kilometers. The project cost the Institute for Aerospace Technology (AIT), the Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy of the United Kingdom Government and the UK Innovation Agency about $8.5 million.
The design feature of the aircraft was reduced propeller blades of a unique design that minimize noise. The company also noted that the efficiency of the installed power system of the plane is 90%. For comparison, the same characteristic of the Formula One car is 50%.
Now, experts are preparing to install electric motors and conduct the first flight tests, which are scheduled for spring 2020.