British engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce has embarked on the construction of a more powerful electric and aerobatic aircraft than ever before. The zero-emission propeller aircraft is designed to be able to exceed a speed of 300 miles per hour (480 km / h), making it a record in electric flight.
The project is headquartered in a hangar at Gloucestershire Airport in the south-west of England, where engineers recruited from all divisions of Rolls-Royce are working to create a historic aircraft, according to the company. The aircraft is expected to take off in the air as early as next year, 2021, or 2022, and could complete the record attempt that year. This is now easily achievable with the sophistication and performance of today’s electric motors, the problem is with the power supply, so it’s the batteries. In most cases, they are too large and heavy, and their capacity is relatively small. According to Rolls-Royce, they have managed to develop a structure of six thousand cells that is light enough and can withstand in-flight temperature changes to a great extent. This is the most powerful energy cell ever built for an aircraft, all you need to do is cool it during operation.
The battery capacity will also be large enough to cover a distance of 200 miles on a full charge, so the airline distance between London and Paris will be overcome without an intermediate landing. The aircraft will be powered by three engines, supplied by Oxford-based YASA. However, the purpose of the flights is not a simple demonstration of strength, a number of sensors are placed on the aircraft, and experience can be of great help in the development of further new technologies. Rolls-Royce is working with German Siemens and Airbus on a project called E-Fan X to develop an electric drive that can also be used on commercial passenger carriers. As a test bench, Airbus recently purchased an ARJ-100 regional aircraft with a better internal No. 3 engine replaced with an electric power source. It is expected that 4-8 of the final version of the E-Fan X will be able to launch a regional aircraft similar in size to the ARJ-100 without the help of conventional resources.