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Rolls-Royce all-electric aircraft completes first test flight

The world-class luxury automobile company has put solid efforts towards the sky with the recent test flight of its Spirit of Innovation all-electric aircraft.


As all-electric vehicle technology continues to advance, so too does the way it’s applied. It’s pretty commonplace to relate such tech to cars these days, but efforts are also being made to take the technology to the sky. Luxury automotive company Rolls-Royce is one such company behind said efforts. The company has been developing an all-electric aircraft and recently logged the vehicle’s first successful test flight.

The first successful test flight of Rolls-Royce’s in-development all-electric aircraft was recorded on September 15, 2021, as reported by CNBC and the automotive company’s Twitter. The aircraft, currently known as the “Spirit of Innovation,” is a conceptual project from Rolls-Royce’s ongoing Accelerating the Electrification of Flight program - ACCEL for short. The Spirit of Innovation is a collaborative project between Rolls-Royce, an aerospace start-up called Electroflight, and electric motor and controller specialist YASA, which is a subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz. Funding for the project has also come from the Aerospace Technology Institute in partnership with the U.K. government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Innovate U.K.

The efforts of these combined entities resulted in an aircraft packing a 400 kilowatt electric powertrain, which is allegedly the most powerful battery ever prepared for an aircraft. During its test flight, the Spirit of Innovation was able to take off and proceed with a 15-minute flight before landing safely.

“[The flight was] a huge step forward in the global transition to cleaner forms of flight,” said U.K. Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.

Indeed, current flight technology burns a lot of fossil fuel worldwide. In fact, according to the International Energy Agency, air travel accounts for 2.8 percent of the world’s overall CO2 emissions with the output reaching around 1 metric gigaton of waste and emissions in 2019.

With groups such as Tesla innovating the automotive industry on the ground, there’s arguably just as much need for technology that takes to the sky. In this regard, Rolls-Royce and the efforts of vehicle makers like it may be well worth paying attention to with projects like ACCEL ongoing.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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