Rolls-Royce Electric Racer Begins Taxi Tests

The Rolls-Royce ACCEL program, short for Accelerating the Electrification of Flight, has successfully completed its initial taxi tests, an important milestone prior to first flight. The airframe is based on the Nemesis NXT homebuilt, which was designed as a Reno air racer and 10 kits were put into the world. According to Rolls-Royce’s minister for Business, Paul Scully, “The taxiing of Rolls-Royce’s ‘Spirit of Innovation’ forms part of an exciting new chapter in aviation as we move towards its first flight in the spring. Set to be the world’s fastest electric plane, this pioneering aircraft highlights the value of close collaboration between industry and government…

Understandably, much of fledgling e-aviation has centered on super-efficient sailplane-like airframes to eke out barely workable endurance at the cost of blushingly modest performance. But a few are taking the reciprocal approach, valuing performance over endurance.