NASA To Test X-57 Maxwell Electric Plane

Posted: Jun 20 2016, 4:15am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

NASA to Test X-57 Maxwell Electric Plane
Featuring 14 electric motors, NASA's X-57 will demonstrate one way electric propulsion can be integrated with aircraft structures to achieve more efficient, quieter, and more environmentally friendly aviation compared to conventional aircraft. Credit: NASA Langley/Advanced Concepts Lab, AMA, Inc.
  • NASA to Test its Novel Hybrid X-57 Maxwell Plane which Runs on Electricity

NASA is going places. It is to test its novel hybrid X-57 Maxwell plane which runs on 14 electric motors.

It is a plane with more than a dozen electric motors that spin and make it move with sufficient speed. All these motors come under the rubric of a singular wing that forms the main component of the new plane designed by NASA.

This propulsion scheme employs a prototypical plane termed the X-57. It carries the moniker “Maxwell”. The administrator of NASA spoke of how this plane had been a project in the pipeline since quite some time.

This is a bold step into a new era of aviation. The decade-long New Aviation Horizons Initiative is what this electric plane is all about. It is in fact the first step in the right direction.

Five more transporter X-planes are in the works as well. The advanced technology will ensure reduced fuel costs, less wastage and decreased noise pollution.

The market will be in a state of boom thanks to these new X-planes being a part of the economic game. The first such plane was the X-1 which took to the skies in 1947 and flew faster than the speed of sound.

There have been many X-planes that have become a part of reality ever since. They have all contributed to NASA’s capabilities as an institution. Planes like the X-57 will help maintain NASA’s reputation as a leader in the world of aviation and space exploration.

The plane was nicknamed “Maxwell” in honor of the brilliant Scottish physicist, James Clerk Maxwell. His work in electromagnetism was of seminal importance. The only competition Maxwell had was from such all-time giants as Einstein and Newton.

The X-57 was built using another plane as a model. The original wing will be replaced by a wing with exactly 14 motors that spin away causing the airplane to rise higher and higher.

The distribution of the motors on the wings of the aircraft contributes to the reduction in costs and fuel economy. The Maxwell will be powered by electric batteries and will not release any carbon emissions.

Furthermore, the flight time and operational costs will be reduced thanks to the leading edge technology used in this brand of aircraft. The motors ensure that the extraneous noise remains at a minimum. The plane rocks and NASA sure has got a good thing going.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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