We all know that NASA is deeply involved in space exploration, but now the notorious American space agency is shifting towards electric airplanes and already has under development such a creation. After many long years of exploring galaxies, quasars, stars, solar systems, planets from our own solar system, and much more, NASA wants to try something new.
Therefore, NASA presented an early experimental version of its first electric aircraft, called the X-57 “Maxwell,”. The presentation took place on Friday at its aeronautics lab in the California desert.
The idea isn’t new
NASA’s idea was adapted from an Italian Tecnam P2006T twin-engine propeller plane. The X-57 has been under development even since four years ago. It remains a pretty big amount of time away from its first test flight that is scheduled to take place over Edward Air Force Base from California.
Two largest of 14 electric motors have been attached to propel the plane, and they are fueled by lithium ion batteries. NASA also presented a new simulator that allows engineers, and pilots, to get the feeling of how it feels to maneuver the X-57 in flight, even if the plane is currently under development.
The truth is that private companies have been developing electric airplanes for years. NASA’s X-57 is destined at proving technology according to standards that manufacturers can adapt.
Brent Cobleigh, a project manager for NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards:
We’re focusing on things that can help the whole industry, not just one company,” he told Reuters in an interview at the research center.
Our target right now is to fly this airplane in late 2020.
Why electric motors?
Cobleigh explained to us that electric motor systems have fewer moving parts than internal-combustion engines, they weigh less and are simpler to maintain, requiring much less energy to fly. Electric motors are also quieter than the traditional ones.
It looks like NASA needs to take a break from their plans of colonizing Mars.