Rolls Royce ensures that its aircraft is unbeatable in terms of speed
There is business here. Everyone in the world of aviation knows this. Aerial electric mobility is too succulent a cake for the main companies in the sector to look the other way. The last to show its cards was the English Rolls Royce, which has announced that its plane powered by electricity is the fastest in the world. Spirit Of Innovation , the name given to its aircraft, reaches 623 km / h, still far from the 828 km / h of the Airbus a320 powered by kerosene.
The challenge, as it happens in the automotive world, is autonomy . In the case of this plane, it is 7-8 minutes maximum if you do not want to run out of power in mid-flight. That means it can barely travel 72 km. It’s little for a series-production aircraft, but a milestone for an electric prototype with a 750V battery and 6,480 cells. Just to focus, this battery could charge 7,500 mobile phones . It is a lot, but it falls short if we want to power a 544 hp (400 kW) engine like this that drives a propeller that turns at 2,200 rpm.
More than cars
Rolls Royce is one of the largest suppliers of aeronautical engines in the world, but it is not alone in this feat of achieving a realistic electric aircraft. Great Britain’s Aerospace Institute of Technology (ATI) and the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Innovation support him. But on the other side of the Atlantic there are also movements. NASA has initiated a project with GE Aviation and MagniX USA , two companies with great experience in the field of aircraft electrification, to carry out a electric aircraft, while Wright Electric is also working on developing a 2 megawatt (2000 KW) engine for this type of aircraft. The race has started but, at least for the moment, Rolls Royce is in the lead.
The origins of Rolls Royce are tied to the aviation industry almost as much as to the automobile industry. They started producing cars in 1904 but Charles Stewart Rolls, who besides being fond of cars was a great fan of airplanes, had in mind from the beginning of his industrial activity to develop an aeronautical engine. The First World War broke out in 1914 without them or most of the businessmen of the time expecting it. The initial surprise was followed by moments of unease over falling luxury car sales. Charles Rolls and Henry Royce were going through a difficult time when the Royal Aircraft Factory commissioned them to manufacture a 200 hp, eight-cylinder V-engine for their aircraft. This order, along with 50 other V8 automobile engines, allowed the firm to emerge with flying colors and open a line of business. Today it continues to provide extraordinary income, although the aeronautical division and the automobile division no longer have anything to do with each other.