Charles Alcock AIN ONLINE
Rolls-Royce Exhibit Showcases Electric Ambitions
May 6, 2022
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  • Rolls-Royce Electrical, which was formed in January as a business unit focused on developing electric aircraft propulsion and storage systems, exhibited for the first time at the recent Aero Friedrichshafen in Germany. 

    The division traces its roots back to Rolls-Royce’s acquisition of Siemens’s electric and hybrid-electric aerospace propulsion activities in 2019. During that time, Rolls-Royce Electrical has been developing energy storage and propulsion systems designed for the nascent advanced air mobility market. 

    Rolls-Royce’s exhibit at Aero Friedrichshafen included details about the Spirit of Innovation, billed as the world’s fastest electric aircraft and developed as part of the UK-funded Accel project. Much of the research that resulted in the Spirit of Innovation, a modified Nemesis NXT experimental airplane that can reach 388 mph, informs future electric products that Rolls-Royce is preparing for customers. 

    Attendees could also view a cutaway view of Rolls-Royce’s battery for electric aircraft, which is designed to facilitate flights of up to 100 nm and will be ready for the market in 2025 or 2026. Meanwhile, the company’s hybrid-electric turbo-generator, using a turbine engine to drive an electric generator, will be demonstrated later this year, according to customer director Matheu Parr. That hybrid-electric system is expected to be available in 2025 or 2026, he added.