Fri. May 14th, 2021

NASA Takes Delivery of First All-Electric Experimental Aircraft

NASA’s X-57 Maxwell, the agency’s first all-electric X-plane and first crewed X-planed in two decades, is delivered to NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California in its Mod II configuration. The first of three primary modifications for the project, Mod II involves testing of the aircraft’s cruise electric propulsion system. Delivery to NASA from prime contractor Empirical Systems Aerospace of San Luis Obispo, California, marks a major milestone for the project, at which point the vehicle is reintegrated for ground tests, to be followed by taxi tests, and eventually, flight tests. X-57’s goal is to further advance the design and airworthiness process for distributed electric propulsion technology for general aviation aircraft, which can provide multiple benefits to efficiency, emissions, and noise.

The first all-electric configuration of NASA’s X-57 Maxwell now’s at the agency’s Armstrong Flight center in Edwards, California.

The X-57, NASA’s initial all-electric experimental craft, or X-plane – and also the initial crewed X-plane in twenty years – was delivered by Empirical Systems region (ESAero) of San Luis Obispo, CA on Wed, Oct. 2, within the initial of 3 configurations as AN all-electric craft, called Modification II, or Mod II.

The X-57’s Mod II vehicle options the replacement of ancient combustion engines on a baseline Tecnam P2006T craft, with electrical cruise motors. The delivery may be a major milestone for the project, permitting NASA engineers to start putt the craft through ground tests, to be followed by taxi tests and eventually, flight tests.

“The X-57 Mod II craft delivery to NASA may be a important event, marking the start of a brand new innovate this exciting electrical X-plane project,” same X-57 Project Manager Tom Rigney. “With the craft in our possession, the X-57 team can presently conduct in depth ground testing of the integrated electrical system to confirm the craft is airworthy. we have a tendency to attempt to chop-chop share valuable lessons learned on the manner as we have a tendency to progress toward flight testing, serving to to tell the growing electrical craft market.”

While X-57’s Mod II vehicle begins systems validation testing on the bottom, efforts in preparation for the project’s following phases, Mods III and IV, ar already well afoot, with the recent prosperous completion of masses testing on a brand new, high-aspect quantitative relation wing at NASA Armstrong’s Flight masses Laboratory. Following completion of tests, the wing, which can be featured on Mods III and IV configurations, can bear match checks on a body at ESAero, making certain timely transition from the project’s Mod II section to Mod III.

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