Now that our future involves flying taxis, NASA is set to test its first all-electric X-plane to encourage and develop certification standards for an electric aircraft.
NASA’s X-57 Maxwell is now at the agency’s Armstrong Flight Research Center for testing.
NASA plans to test the aircraft’s electric propulsion system to check its reliability and inform other aircraft manufacturers dealing with all-electric configurations.
The X-57 is also termed as the X-57 Mod II (as in modification II) which does not feature wings. It is also worth noting that the X-plane was delivered by Empirical Systems Aerospace (ESAero) of San Luis Obispo, California on Wednesday, Oct 2nd.
The electric aircraft replaces the traditional combustion engines with electric cruise motors. Now, the delivery of X-plane will allow NASA engineers to perform ground tests, taxi tests, and flight tests to end with.
It will undergo extensive ground testing to ensure that it is worth taking a flight in the first place.
“The X-57 Mod II aircraft delivery to NASA is a significant event, marking the beginning of a new phase in this exciting electric X-plane project,” said X-57 Project Manager Tom Rigney.
As mentioned, this is the Mod II configuration that will undergo ground testing. In addition to this, the Mod III and Mod IV models (or configurations) are also in progress to be tested at NASA Armstrong’s Flight Loads Laboratory.
Obviously, Mod III & IV will include wings to test it for flights and other factors in their testing.
While the test has already commenced, it will be interesting to see what it has to offer for the future.