NASA had been previously known just for its space explorations. This was a huge field in itself which required massive input and resources. However, this has not kept the US agency from entering the electric aviation segment.
NASA In The Aviation Industry, For Real?
Well, a decade ago could you even imagine NASA working on its line of electric airplanes? For most of us, it sounds absurd but no matter how astounded you are, this is a reality.
This also states the level of confidence that the world has gained in the electric segment that now an agency as well-reputed as NASA is working on electric planes.
Which X-Series Planes Are Currently In The Works?
NASA is currently working on the X series electric airplanes. This consists of the following models:
- X-57 Maxwell;
- X-59 QueSST Super Sonic Jet.
According to reports, the ground tests of the X-57 are being carried out for the past several months and now the plane is almost ready for its first flight.
When Did NASA Start The X-Series Planes Line-up?
If you don’t know, NASA started working on the X planes lineup back in the 1940s. The main motive behind these planes was to develop aircrafts capable of travelling at high speeds.
What Makes These Planes So Astonishing?
The X series planes are a true work of art. They have astonished fans of the aviation segment with their cutting edge technologies.
The planes hold several records in this segment which include but are not limited to crossing several altitude and speed barriers.
They are also unique in that new materials and propulsion systems have been used in their manufacturing.
Besides this, NASA has developed a hypersonic aircraft as part of its X series planes.
All these industry-first features put these X series planes on another level of crazy.
When Was The X-57 Maxwell Conceived?
The X-57 was conceived by NASA in 2016. This was a part of the SCEPTOR or Scalable Convergent Electric Propulsion Technology Operations Research Project.
What Reasons Led To The Development Of The X-57 Maxwell?
The main reason behind the development of this project was to offer a new dimension to the world of aviation.
NASA was trying to introduce the electric platform to the aviation segment and dare we say it succeeded in doing so.
Design Of The X-57
Maxwell which was formerly an Italian Tecnam P2006T was born after replacing the ICE engines with two electric motors. These motors were produced by Joby Aviation.
Fast forward six years and the X-57 Maxwell is almost ready for its first flight. The plane will use NASA’s Edwards based Armstrong Flight Research Center for this purpose.
How Is The X-57 Different From Recent NASA Projects?
What makes the X-57 even more momentous is that this will be NASA’s first plane during the last two decades which will be able to have a crew on board.
The Project Manager for the X-57 stated that the airplane has already assisted substantially in the development of electric aircraft propulsion.
The plane is also aiding other companies that are working in this field by offering them a path to follow.
What Do We Know About The X-59 QueSST Super Sonic Jet?
The other project from NASA i.e. the X-59 QueSST Super Sonic Jet is also making slow but steady progress.
After its stress tests were performed in Texas, the plane has now been shifted to the Lockheed Martin facility in California.
A model of this plane also underwent wind tunnel testing in Japan recently. This is why we believe that the first test of the X-59 QueSST Super Sonic Jet will take place in 2023.
The first flight of NASA’s X-57 Maxwell means a lot more for the agency than seems on the paper.
It proves that the past 6 years of laborious work and effort are finally paying off. This is big news for NASA but as a whole, the world of aviation should be jubilant because the result will be an aviation industry free from harmful emissions.