The flight is
another step towards the planes world-record attempt and another
milestone on the aviation industrys journey towards decarbonisation.
Warren East, CEO, Rolls-Royce, said, The first
flight of the Spirit of Innovation is a great achievement for
the ACCEL team and Rolls-Royce. We are focused on producing the
technology breakthroughs society needs to decarbonise transport
across air, land and sea, and capture the economic opportunity of
the transition to net zero. This is not only about breaking a
world record; the advanced battery and propulsion technology
developed for this programme has exciting applications for the
Urban Air Mobility market and can help make jet zero a reality.
The aircraft took off from the UK Ministry of
Defences Boscombe Down site, which is managed by QinetiQ and flew
for approximately 15 minutes.
The site has a long heritage of
experimental flights and the first flight marks the beginning of
an intense flight-testing phase, collecting
valuable performance data on the aircrafts electrical power and
Kwasi Kwarteng, UKs Business Secretary, said, The first
flight of Rolls-Royces revolutionary Spirit of Innovation
aircraft signals a huge step forward in the global transition to
cleaner forms of flight. This achievement, and the records we hope
will follow, shows the UK remains right at the forefront of
aerospace innovation. By backing projects like this one, the Government
is helping to drive forward the boundary pushing technologies that
will leverage investment and unlock the cleaner, greener aircraft
required to end our contribution to climate change.
The ACCEL programme, short for Accelerating
the Electrification of Flight includes key partners YASA, the
electric motor and controller manufacturer, and aviation start-up Electroflight.
Half of the projects funding is provided by the
Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), in partnership with the
Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Innovate
The first flight of the Spirit of Innovation
demonstrates how innovative technology can provide solutions to
some of the worlds biggest challenges, said Gary Elliott, CEO,
Aerospace Technology Institute. The ATI is funding projects like
ACCEL to help UK develop new capabilities and secure a lead in the
technologies that will decarbonise aviation. We congratulate
everyone who has worked on the ACCEL project to make the first
flight a reality and look forward to the world speed record
attempt which will capture the imagination of the public in the
year that the UK hosts COP26.
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