Rolls-Royce has flown its all-electric Spirit of Innovation aircraft and says it will embark on an intense testing program to validate its engineering projections. The sleek prototype took off from the U.K. Ministry of Defense’s Boscombe Down test facility on Sept. 15. for a 15-minute hop. The flight was uneventful.
The aircraft differs from most other electric prototypes in that it was designed for high performance and looks a lot like the Relentless unlimited Reno Air Races plane. The plane has a 400-kilowatt drive train with what Rolls-Royce says is “the most power-dense battery pack ever assembled for an aircraft.” The company hopes to fly it at 300 MPH and it’s been reported the plane may form the basis for a new military basic trainer. Partners in the initiative include electric motor and controller specialist YASA and Electroflight, which built the battery.