NASA unveiled its new experimental Maxwell X-57 electric plane, which was introduced through an initial physical prototype, along with a new simulator that will allow pilots to experience the control of the novelty. The version that was displayed is located at the US Space Agency's Armstrong Flight Research Center research center in Edwards, California.
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This model is the first of three different configurations to be produced, becoming known as Modification II (or Mod II). The featured version of the Maxwell X-57 replaces its traditional combustion engine with quieter, more efficient electric cruise engines – and is more sustainable.
The Maxwell X-57 Mod II has 14 electric motors driven by lithium ion batteries. According to NASA project manager Brent Cobleigh, the US government agency is seeking to create something that will help the entire industry, not just a single company. The goal of the team involved in the project is to be able to get the electric plane in the air by the end of 2020.
It is expected that future iterations of the aircraft will be launched in the future, which will be called Mods III and Mods IV. The new development phases of the Maxwell X-57 are already under test and are expected to bring bolder components such as wider wings and unusual proportions.
According to the Digital Trends website, the NASA team's goal is to create innovative technology that is adopted by a large number of commercial aircraft manufacturers. This would make the aviation industry more sustainable and efficient.
At the moment, the biggest challenge of the Maxwell X-57 is the capacity of its batteries, which are only sufficient for short flights at the moment. Still, NASA's promise is that its electric motors are more compact, quieter, lighter and easier to maintain than traditional motors.
Via: Digital trends
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