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FAI confirms Spirit of Innovation speed records

+VIDEO The world speed records set by the Spirit of Innovation electric aircraft developed by Rolls-Royce and Electroflight have been officially verified.

The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), the World Air Sports Federation that controls and certifies world aeronautical records, confirmed two records:

  • At 15.45 (GMT) on 16 November 2021, the aircraft reached a top speed of 555.9 km/h (345.4 mph) over 3 kilometres, smashing the existing record by 213.04 km/h (132mph), flown by Phill O’Dell.
  • In further runs, the aircraft achieved 532.1km/h (330 mph) over 15 kilometres – 292.8km/h (182 mph) faster than the previous record, flown by Steve Jones.

During its record-breaking runs, the aircraft, which is part of the UK Government-backed ACCEL or ‘Accelerating the Electrification of Flight’ project, also clocked up a maximum top speed of 623km/h (387.4mph) making it the world’s fastest all-electric vehicle.

Warren East, CEO, Rolls-Royce, said, “Achieving the all-electric world-speed record is a fantastic achievement for the ACCEL team and Rolls-Royce.

“I would like to thank our partners and especially aviation start-up Electroflight, for their collaboration in achieving this pioneering breakthrough.

“The advanced battery and propulsion technology developed for this programme has exciting applications for the Advanced Air Mobility market. This is another milestone that will help make ‘jet zero’ a reality.”

Phill O’Dell said, “Breaking the world-record for all-electric flight is a momentous occasion. This is the highlight of my career and is an incredible achievement for whole team.”

Read FLYER’s exclusive behind-the-scenes report on the record-breaking flights here.

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