NASA to start testing its first all-electric X-plane

The first ‘fully electric’ experimental aircraft, or X-plane of NASA, is increasingly close to officially released.

NASA has announced it will begin testing its first fully electric X-57 Maxwell aircraft with people on board. The X-plane is delivered to the agency’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California. The second modification of the aircraft is ready to pass the most important ground tests.

X-Series aircraft are used by NASA to test and evaluate new technologies. In the case of this model, the agency to test a cruise electric propulsion system to further help develop certification standards for the emerging electric aircraft market by other companies.

NASA will begin by conducting ground tests of the X-57 Mod II to prepare for the next phases, which will include taxi and ultimately flight testing. It is not clear when and where they will happen, but Mod III and IV configurations of the plane will have wings unlike the current version of the prototype.

According to NASA, whenever the flight test will be performed, the tests will make history as the flight of the first X-series manned aircraft in two decades.

Project management of X-57 Maxwell said it is ready to share anything it learns about the vehicle’s electric propulsion system and help develop certification standards for electric aircraft, including urban air mobility vehicles capable of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL). They are often called “flying cars.”



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