Rolls-Royce on target to test superfast electric plane

Rolls-Royce has insisted it is months away from its first attempt at breaking the 300mph record for the world’s fastest electric aeroplane.

Yesterday the FTSE 100 aerospace engineer said it had completed ground testing for all the technology in the plane’s core, including a 500 horsepower electric powertrain.

The full-scale replica has been run up to a full speed of 2,400 revolutions per minute in testing with the help of a battery, which is made up of 6,000 cells and has enough energy to supply 250 homes. 

Flight sparks: Rolls-Royce said it had completed ground testing for all the technology in its Spirit of Innovation electric plane's core, including a 500 horsepower electric powertrain

Flight sparks: Rolls-Royce said it had completed ground testing for all the technology in its Spirit of Innovation electric plane's core, including a 500 horsepower electric powertrain

Flight sparks: Rolls-Royce said it had completed ground testing for all the technology in its Spirit of Innovation electric plane’s core, including a 500 horsepower electric powertrain

The plane, called the Spirit of Innovation, will be ready for test flights later this year and its first record attempt in early 2021.

Rolls has gone ahead with the project, part of the ACCEL programme, despite its shares falling 20 per cent in a week dragging its valuation down to £2.9billion, putting it at grave risk of losing its blue chip status.

It has already announced 9,000 redundancies and is preparing to raise up to £2.5billion in debt and equity.

But bosses believe electric engines will be crucial to the company’s long-term future.

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