NASA’s first all-electric ‘X-plane’ has arrived and is ready for testing
- The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) first all-electric aircraft, the X-plane, is ready for ground tests.
- Officially called the X-57 Maxwell, the success of the aircraft will determine the universal standards and certification guidelines for upcoming
- The aim to have the X-plane be 500% more efficient in flight as compared to planes using traditional combustion engines.
And, the first all-electric ‘X-plane’ just arrived at the Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California.
It took NASA four years and $43.5 million to put the X-plane together. Now, that it’s finally arrived, the engineers can start their tests — ground tests, taxi tests and finally, flight tests.
Officially called the X-57 Maxwell, the aim of the project is to help develop a universal standard for electric aircraft.
Since electric planes rely on a complex distributed electric propulsion system, NASA feels its important to have certification guidelines in place for them.
It ideally wants the X-plane to prove a 500% increase in high-speed cruise efficiency, achieve zero in-flight carbon emissions and show that that electric planes are better because they’re quieter.
It’s being built by modifying an Italian Tecnam P2006T. So, researchers at NASA will be able to compare the data from the traditional combustion engines to the same model being powered by electric propulsion.
Once the X-plane has been tested successfully, NASA will apply the same changes to a standard aircraft.
The end of goal of the X-series project is to build hybrid electric jets that can be sold commercially in the market.
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