Long delayed by COVID-19, the Nemesis NXT developed by Rolls Royce and specialist airframer Electroflight spectacularly surpassed the electric airspeed and 3000 meter time-to-climb records November 16, 2021.
The flights were conducted from the storied Boscombe Down experimental aircraft test field in the south of England and have been submitted to the FAI for certification. Rolls Royce test pilot Phill O’Dell was at the controls.
Several electrically-powered speed records have been set in various weight categories, with the highest likely being Walter Extra’s 210 mph effort in March of 2017. The new Rolls Royce/Electroflight NXT posted 345.5 mph over a 3 km course and a 330 mph average over 15 km. The highest top speed during the record runs was 387.4 mph. No other electron-powered aircraft has run remotely close to these impressive speeds; the 3 km pace was over 130 mph faster then existing record and the 15 km speed exceeded the existing record by over 180 mph.
The 3000 meter time-to-climb record was broken by a whole minute, taking 3 minutes and 22 seconds.
Rolls Royce rates the 3-motor arrangement in the “Spirit of Innovation” NXT at 500+ hp (400 kW) while the airframe remains mainly stock Nemesis NXT. For more technical information on this unique airplane see “NXT Next” p.40 August 2020 KITPLANES magazine.