Rolls-Royce Claims to Have Developed World's Fastest Electric Aircraft — Take a Look

The company's Spirit of Innovation hit a top speed of 345 mph over a distance of 3 kilometers last week.

Aerial view of Rolls-Royce ACCEL on a tarmac
Photo: Courtesy of Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce has claimed it now has the world's fastest all-electric aircraft, reaching a maximum speed of more than 387 mph.

In one test, the company said its Spirit of Innovation aircraft recently broke the existing record for the fastest all-electric plane by hitting a top speed of 345 mph over a distance of 3 kilometers, according to a press release. The aircraft craft also reached 330 mph over 15 kilometers in another test, breaking that record as well. Further, Rolls-Royce said the plane climbed to 3,000 meters (9,842 feet) in 202 seconds, which the company said was another record.

Rolls-Royce has submitted its data to officials to be certified.

"The advanced battery and propulsion technology developed for this program has exciting applications for the Advanced Air Mobility market," Warren East, the CEO of Rolls-Royce, said in a statement. "Following the world's focus on the need for action at COP26, this is another milestone that will help make 'jet zero' a reality and supports our ambitions to deliver the technology breakthroughs society needs to decarbonise transport across air, land and sea."

Rolls-Royce said the battery technology is similar to what will be required for things like air taxis going forward.

ACCEL by Rolls-Royce with London Parliament
Courtesy of Rolls-Royce

"This record will show the potential of electric flight and help to unlock the technologies that could make it part of everyday life," Kwasi Kwarteng, business secretary for the United Kingdom, said. "The government is proud to back projects like this to leverage the private investment necessary to unlock cleaner, greener aircraft which will allow people to fly as they do now, but in a way that cuts emissions."

While it may be a while before your transatlantic flight is on an all-electric plane, the world's first fully-electric commercial flight did take off from Vancouver in 2019, transporting passengers in a six-seater seaplane.

In the meantime, major airlines have committed to offset carbon emissions in recent years, and British Airways flew a completely-carbon neutral passenger flight from London to Glasgow in September.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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