ACCEL, The Spirit Of Innovation, is the World’s Fastest Electric Plane, breaking the Electric Air Speed Record in November 2021

The zero-emission ‘Spirit of Innovation’ aircraft has achieved a new world record for all-electric flight of 345.4mph.

This ground-breaking, fixed wing plane, built and developed by Rolls Royce, is powered by YASA Motors and Electroflight batteries, which forms the Powertrain behind all Evolito Propulsion Solutions.  The aircraft uses a 400kW electric powertrain – the equivalent of a 535 BHP supercar.

The speed achieved by test pilot and Rolls-Royce Director of Flight Operations Phill O’Dell in the ‘Spirit of Innovation’ was 132 mph faster than the previous record set by the Siemens eAircraft powered Extra 330 LE Aerobatic aircraft in 2017.

Never in the history of the FAI record attempts has there been such a significant increase in speed over such a short time, highlighting the rapid pace at which electrification of aerospace is advancing.

Watch the full story below:

Axial Flux Motor Technology

Each of the three motors powering the Spirit of Innovation provides 790Nm of peak torque, 200kW peak power. All within an individual axial length of just 98mm.The motor design has been customised to make installation easier and enhance the motors’ mechanical strength and rigidity.

The Axial Flux technology requires up to 75% less iron, less copper and less permanent magnets than competing radial flux motors, making it lighter and more environmentally-friendly, and therefore ideally suited to aerospace applications

The three motors enable the plane’s propellers to continuously deliver more than 500hp and the blades to spin at a low enough RPM for a stable and almost silent ride, while allowing the aircraft to reach speeds of 300 miles per hour. All this, with greater than 97% energy efficiencies and zero emissions.

Rolls Royce & YASA

Rolls-Royce worked with YASA, manufacturer of high-power, lightweight electric motors and controllers used in automotive applications. Evolito was spun out of YASA in 2021, to focus on the development of electric propulsion systems for aerospace applications:

“We’re excited to be working with Rolls-Royce on integrating our high-power, light-weight electric motors into a pure electric demonstrator aircraft. Thanks to the innovative axial-flux design, developed by YASA, we can deliver the smallest, lightest electric motors for a given power and torque – opening up new and exciting opportunities for electrification in aerospace.”

Chris Harris: CEO, Evolito

Sprit Of Innovation

Electroflight Battery Technology

Also an integral part of the groundbreaking project is Electroflight (UK), now a wholly owned subsidiary of Evolito.

In order to power the aircraft, the most power-dense propulsion battery pack ever assembled in aerospace had to be developed by Electroflight, supported by researchers from WMG, University of Warwick.

“We are delighted to be supporting Rolls-Royce with an innovative energy storage solution. Our team comprises leading experts in electrification from the motorsport and automotive sector to assist our partners to accelerate the evolution of electric aircraft.”

Roger Targett, Founder, Electroflight


Electroflight Battery Cells

The ACCEL Spirit Of Innovation has been retired to the Science Museum, but just before it’s move, we welcomed Fully Charged to the Evolito HQ to find out more about this record-breaking plane, and the role Evolito & Electroflight played in it’s development.