Rolls-Royce has announced its plans to build ACCEL, a high-performance electric aeroplane “unlike anything the world has ever seen”. The aeroplane, Scheduled to take to the skies in 2020, will be emission-free and will reach speeds of over 300mph. ACCEL stands for Accelerating the Electrification of Flight, will be partly funded by the UK government and involves a host of partners, including electric motor and controller manufacturer, YASA, and the aviation start-up, Electroflight.The team brings together some of the top minds from the world of Formula E racing to help design the e-racer.
- Rolls-Royce says ACCEL will have the most energy-dense battery pack ever assembled for an aircraft, providing enough power to fly 200 miles (London to Paris) on a single charge. Its 6,000 cells are packaged for maximum lightness and thermal protection. An advanced cooling system can withstand the extreme temperatures and high-current demands during flight.
- The propeller will be driven by three high power density electric motors, designed and manufactured by YASA. Compared to a conventional plane, the propeller blades spin at a far lower RPM to deliver a more stable and quieter ride. Combined, they’ll continuously deliver more than 500 horsepower.
- The all-electric powertrain will run at 750 volts and deliver 90% energy efficiency with zero emissions.
- For safety and performance optimisation purposes, sensors will collect in-flight information each second across more than 20,000 points on the powertrain, measuring battery voltage, temperature and general performance metrics.