Rolls-Royce presented the future of electric flight at Farnborough Friday as part of FIA Connect.
The manufacturer has developed electric aircraft demonstrator project ACCEL (Accelerating the Electrification of Flight) with the first flight planned for later this year.
The Farnborough Friday session outlined the history of the engine maker and one of the manufacturer’s latest challenges – building the world’s fastest all-electric aircraft. The zero emission ‘Spirit of Innovation’ aircraft is expected to make a run for the record books with a target speed of more than 300mph later this year.
Project will engage with tomorrow’s engineers and scientists
The Nemesis NXT sport-class aircraft has been specially designed for air racing by Jon Sharp of Nemesis Air Racing. The £6.37m project is also being used by Rolls-Royce as an opportunity to engage with tomorrow’s scientists and engineers who will be helping to decarbonize aviation, ensuring that the social and economic benefits of connectivity and trade are retained while moving towards cleaner, safer flight
The Farnborough Friday session, introduced by Electrical Engineer Laura Wood and Test Pilot Phil Odell, outlined the history of the engine maker, the manufacturer’s move towards net zero carbon emissions and the challenges of building the world’s fastest all-electric aircraft. The ‘Spirit of Innovation’ aircraft is expected to make a run for the record books with a target speed of more than 300mph later this year.
Electrification of Rolls-Royce is part of overall strategy
The presentation featured a number of spokespeople from Rolls-Royce who explained how the project fitted in with the engine manufacturer’s overall strategy. Ash Owen, Chief Engineer for Civil Demonstrators, said: “The reason we’re championing electrification in aerospace is that we see it as part of our overall strategy – develop the gas turbine, champion electrification and also sustainable aviation fuel. We’re going to need all three to go to zero carbon.”
Project Manager Matheu Parr explained that the ACCEL project was more about building a more sustainable future for aviation and went beyond the production of a single aircraft model. He said: “The project that we’re undertaking is all about making a plane, go very, very fast. As part of that we’re investing in new technology and new technology that we hope is going to enable cleaner and more sustainable aviation, but we also hope is really inspiring.”