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Electric Airplane Sets All-Time Speed Record

byVictor Tangermann
11. 22. 21

It smashed the current record by 132 mph.


Rolls-Royce’s Spirit of Innovation electric airplane just crushed the all-electric top speed record, soaring through the air at 384.4 mph.

That’s if the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) approves the flight and certifies the record. If the record does get certified, the company’s single-seater aircraft will have smashed the current record by an impressive 132 mph, which was set by Siemens’ Extra 330LE eAircraft in 2017.

It also managed to climb juts shy of 10,000 feet in just 202 seconds, 60 seconds faster than the previous record holder, a testament to the sheer muscle power of electric propulsion.

Going Electric

The plane runs on a 400 kilowatt electric powertrain and features “the most power-dense propulsion battery pack ever assembled in aerospace,” according to a statement.


The news comes after the Spirit of Innovation successfully completed its maiden voyage back in September, spending around 15 minutes in the air.

While electric airplanes aren’t going to replace fuel-guzzling long-haul airliners any time soon — the energy to weight ratio makes it unfeasible with today’s battery tech, according to Engadget — electric planes could conceivably start to take over shorter trips.

In Rolls Royce’s press release, UK business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the aircraft “will show the potential of electric flight and help to unlock the technologies that could make it part of everyday life.”

But airline executives aren’t quite convinced.


“I don’t see the arrival of… hydrogen fuels, I don’t see the arrival of sustainable fuels, I don’t see the arrival of electric propulsion systems, certainly not before 2030,” Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary told CNBC last month.

READ MORE: Rolls-Royce’s all-electric airplane smashes record with 387.4 MPH top speed [Engadget]

More on the airplane: Rolls-Royce Tests Sci-Fi-Looking All-Electric Aircraft

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