NASA’s electric X-57 plane appears to be approaching its first flight

NASA’s electric X-57 plane appears to be approaching its first flight

NASA’s electric X-57 plane is apparently soaring closer to its first flight; with milestones being emphatically checked off by the US space agency.

The electric plane project has been underway at NASA for more than three years. The work done by NASA engineers in developing the electric plane is bound to have a noteworthy effect on the aviation industry.

So far as some of the details about NASA’s electric X-57 plane are concerned, the concept for the X-57 is equipped with two big electric motors -- one on each wing tip -- to give the plane its main propulsion. In addition, the X-57 also uses a so-called ‘distributed electric propulsion’ design, for deriving increased lift during takeoff and landing so that stable flight can be maintained at lower airspeeds.

To get the benefit of the ‘distributed electric propulsion’ design, the electric X-57 plane has 12 small electric motors which are widely spread across the leading edge of its wings.

With regard to the seemingly approaching first flight of NASA’s electric X-57 plane, Nick Borer -- technical head for the X-57 plane project -- has told Popular Mechanics that “the flight batteries have been tested and delivered to Scaled for integration, and the acceptance tests on the flight motors are ongoing.” Borer also added: “At this point it appears that Mod II won’t fly until 2019.”

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