Rolls-Royce and its partners are working on a single-seat electric plane. It is likely to beat the world speed record held since 2017, by a device designed by Siemens.
If all goes as advertised, by 2020, an electric plane developed by Rolls-Royce should beat the world speed record for this type of aircraft. Currently, it is held by the Extra 330 LE equipped with a Siemens engine that was awarded in 2017 with 337.5 km / h. At the head of a group of several technical partners, Rolls-Royce is aiming at 480 km / h and would eventually want to tackle the record of the Schneider Cup of 1931, when a Supermarine S.6B seaplane equipped with a Rolls-Royce “R” engine, had reached 552 km / h.
For his single-seat electric propeller plane, the British manufacturer is developing a 750 kW battery with 6,000 cells. The powertrain is made up of three electric motors manufactured by YASA that deliver a total of 500 horsepower. One of the main technical challenges that designers must address is the cooling of the battery and motors.
A Paris London trip with a single charge
For this, a series of sensors will constantly monitor 20,000 points in the powertrain, including battery voltage, temperature and engine condition. The announced autonomy could allow to make a flight between Paris and London in one go.