Rolls-Royce Guns for Electric Airplane Speed Record - Meet the ACCEL
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June 3, 2019 - by Eric C. Evarts for greencarreports.com
When most people think of Rolls-Royce, they think of ultra-luxury cars, not airplanes.
But a separate Rolls-Royce, spun off of the automaker in 1971, makes aircraft engines. And that company plans to go electric in tackling the world speed record for electric airplanes. To borrow a famous phrase from the automaker, if "horsepower is sufficient."
The company has built an all new airplane called ACCEL—"accelerating electrification of flight"—to tackle the speed record attempt sometime in 2020.
The ACCEL project is part of a European Commission effort to clean up emissions from air travel by 2050. The plane, and the record attempt are part of a movement expanding electric-car technologies to the skies, including electrifying helicopters and entire airlines. Long haul flight is likely to take longer for electrification to take over.
Looking like a contender in the Reno air races, the ACCEL will use three electric motors that produce a combined 500 horsepower...