NASA’s Experimental All-Electric X-57 Aircraft Is a Step Closer to Flight


nasas experimental all electric x 57 aircraft a step closer to flight maxwell
NASA

NASA has taken delivery of its all-electric X-57 “Maxwell” aircraft, taking the agency a step closer to comprehensive testing of its first all-electric experimental aircraft.

Several years in development, the X-57 was delivered by Empirical Systems Aerospace of San Luis Obispo, California, in the first of three configurations as an all-electric aircraft, known as Modification II, or Mod II.

Tom Rigney, manager of the X-57 project, said the arrival of the aircraft marked “the beginning of a new phase in this exciting electric X-plane project,” adding, “With the aircraft in our possession, the X-57 team will soon conduct extensive ground testing of the integrated electric propulsion system … We plan to rapidly share valuable lessons learned along the way as we progress toward flight testing, helping to inform the growing electric aircraft market.”

The X-57’s Mod II vehicle uses a four-seat Tecnam P2006T aircraft as its base design but with its traditional combustion engines replaced with 14 electric cruise motors. The design will allow it to operate with 20% of the fuel cost — and far more quietly — than conventional aircraft.

When the X-57 is ready to take to the skies following its initial tests, six motors on each wing will enable take-off and landing. However, two larger motors — one at the far end of each wing — will be enough for the X-57 to maintain its cruising speed of 175 mph. The range of the aircraft is around 100 miles.

READ ALSO  Step up your multichannel marketing game

According to NASA, one of the goals of the X-57 project is “to help develop certification standards for emerging electric aircraft markets, including urban air mobility vehicles, which also rely on complex distributed electric propulsion systems.”

Indeed, a growing number of companies are investing big bucks in the development of small, electric aircraft as a way to move people around cities more efficiently while at the same time reducing carbon emissions.

NASA has been testing its experimental X-planes and rockets since the mid-1940s as a way to evaluate new technologies and aerodynamic concepts.

The X-57 aircraft was nicknamed Maxwell in honor of James Clerk Maxwell, a 19th-century Scottish physicist known for his groundbreaking work in electromagnetism.

Editors’ Recommendations








Source link

?
WP Twitter Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com