Rolls Royce 'Spirit of Innovation' electric aircraft

Made:
2021 in Cheltenham
maker:
Rolls-Royce plc
and
Electroflight Ltd.
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Rolls Royce 'Spirit of Innovation' electric
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Rolls Royce 'Spirit of Innovation' electric
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Rolls Royce 'Spirit of Innovation' electric
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Rolls Royce 'Spirit of Innovation' electric
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Rolls Royce 'Spirit of Innovation' electric
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Rolls Royce 'Spirit of Innovation' electric
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Rolls Royce 'Spirit of Innovation' electric
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Rolls Royce 'Spirit of Innovation' electric
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Rolls Royce 'Spirit of Innovation' electric
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Rolls Royce 'Spirit of Innovation' electric
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Rolls Royce 'Spirit of Innovation' electric
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Rolls Royce 'Spirit of Innovation' electric
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Rolls Royce 'Spirit of Innovation' electric
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Rolls Royce 'Spirit of Innovation' electric
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Rolls Royce 'Spirit of Innovation' electric
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Rolls Royce 'Spirit of Innovation' electric
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Rolls Royce 'Spirit of Innovation' electric
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Rolls Royce 'Spirit of Innovation' electric
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Rolls Royce 'Spirit of Innovation' electric
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Rolls Royce 'Spirit of Innovation' electric
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Rolls Royce 'Spirit of Innovation' electric
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Rolls Royce 'Spirit of Innovation' electric
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Rolls Royce 'Spirit of Innovation' electric
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Rolls Royce 'Spirit of Innovation' electric
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Rolls Royce 'Spirit of Innovation' electric
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Rolls Royce 'Spirit of Innovation' electric, single seater aircraft, consisting of Nemesis NXT airframe and powertrain, built by Rolls-Royce Plc, Electroflight and YASA, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, 2021. In 2021, the aircraft set the record for the world’s fastest electric plane with a speed of 345mph over 3 Kilometres, the top speed of the plane has been recorded as 387.4mph, making it the world’s fastest electric aircraft.

This aircraft was built to become the fastest electric aircraft in the world. Developed by Rolls-Royce, YASA, Electroflight and the Aerospace Technology Institute, it aimed to push technological boundaries and pave the way for future electric aircraft. This would reduce the use of carbon-emitting fossil fuels. In 2021, Spirit of Innovation broke records when it flew at 555.9 kilometres per hour over a distance of 3 kilometres, almost doubling the 2017 record. It also achieved the fastest climb to an altitude of 3 kilometres, in just 202 seconds. The aircraft’s design echoes the famous Spitfire and 1930s air speed record holder the Supermarine S.6B.

Inside the plane, the cockpit controls include dials that show the aircraft’s speed and altitude. The main control stick is to the right of the pilot and is used to move the aircraft up and, down, and side to side. Display screens carry information on the aircraft’s performance and the electric battery pack within its powertrain, displayed opposite. The original design had two seats, but one was removed because of the desire to save weight.

Spirit of Innovation is powered by an electric ‘powertrain’. Its lightweight design paired with the most efficient technology of its day enabled the aircraft to achieve record-breaking speeds. Electricity from the battery pack drives three motors which turn the propeller, producing energy for the aircraft to fly. Sensors monitor the battery pack cells and motors to provide in-flight information for the pilot and research data. Air- and watercooling systems prevent the battery pack overheating. The aircraft is silent aside from its propeller, making it much quieter than a fuel-powered aircraft.

Details

Category:
Aeronautics
Object Number:
L2023-22
Materials:
carbon fibre, glass fibre, cured epoxy resin, steel, brass, alloy, copper, tungsten, paint, vinyl, plastic, rubber, glass, ceramics, Perspex, leather, sponge foam and wood
Measurements:
powertrain: 784 mm x 1200 mm x 2300 mm,
wingspan: 7400 mm
airframe: 1600 mm x 7400 mm 400 kg
type:
aircraft

Parts