NASA’s X-57 Maxwell : Electric Aircraft Project
NASA’s X-57 Maxwell all-electric aircraft project will soon conclude aircraft operational activities, with documentation and close-out activities continuing for several months afterwards.
- X-57 Maxwell is an all-electric experimental aircraft designed to demonstrate multiple leading-edge technologies.
- It is being designed and developed by NASA.
- Goal is to demonstrate that an all-electric airplane can be more efficient, quieter and more environmentally friendly than airplanes powered by traditional gas piston engines.
- It was made by modifying an Italian Texnam P2006T light aircraft to be powered by an electric propulsion system.
- It will demonstrate the use of a high-power distributed electric propulsion system for use on an aircraft, including a 460-volt battery to power 14 motors and propellers.
- The cruise motor controllers are critical components of the X-57’s powertrain, as they convert the energy stored in the aircraft’s lithium-ion batteries to power the motors that spin the electric propellers.
- The wing, which is being reduced to 42% of the original size to significantly reduce drag, will feature wing-tip propellers to reduce the wing-tip vortex at cruise.