"NASA Successfully Tests Telemetry Signal on Agency’s First All-Electric X-plane" — (nasa.gov)

April 13, 2020
NASA Successfully Tests Telemetry Signal on Agency’s First All-Electric X-plane

Recent ground testing on NASA’s first all-electric X-plane, the X-57 Maxwell, successfully demonstrated the aircraft’s ability to transmit its telemetry signal, allowing the team the capability to track mission-critical data during flight.

This data will be received on the ground during X-57’s flight tests, where it will be monitored in real time by the project team during flight operations, and recorded for post-flight analysis to measure X-57’s success in meeting its objectives, as NASA seeks to help set certification standards for future electric aircraft.

Read More: (nasa.gov)
March 26, 2020
NASA Releases Concept Images of All-Electric X-57 in Final Configuration

The X-57, which is NASA’s first piloted X-plane in two decades, is seen here in its final all-electric configuration, known as Modification IV, or Mod IV. This configuration will feature a skinny, high-aspect ratio wing, designed to boost efficiency by reducing drag in flight, and electric cruise motors with five-foot diameter propellers on the wingtips, to recover energy that would otherwise be lost to wingtip vortices.

Read More: (nasa.gov)
Key Technologies
Lithium Ion Batteries
  • X-57 is Powered by 860lbs of Lithium Ion Batteries, Specially Redesigned to Isolate Potential Overheating Issues
  • The Batteries Feature 69.1kw hoursEnergy Usage, with 47kw hours usable
High-Aspect Ratio Wings
  • Starting in Mod III, X-57 will feature a skinnier,High-Aspect Ratio Wing, featuring a largeReduction in Area, with Wing Loading Increasing from 17 lbs/sqft to 45 lbs/sqft
Cruise Motors & Propellers
  • X-57’s Electric Cruise Motors are Inboard on Mod II, and Repositioning to the Wingtips for Mods III & IV
  • These Air-Cooled, Out-Runner Cruise motors feature 60kW of Power each, and 5ft Diameter Propellers
High-Lift Motors & Propellers
  • In Mod IV, X-57 will feature smaller High-Lift Motors and Propellers along the Wing’s Leading Edge, featuring 10.5kW of Power
  • These Motors and 1.9ft diameter Propellers are Powered to Generate Lift for X-57 to Take off and will fold to reduce Cruise Drag


  • Ground Validation of DistributedElectric Propulsion (DEP) High-LiftSystem
    Flight Testing of Baseline Tecnam P2006T
  • Flight Testing of Baseline Tecnam P2006T
  • GOALS:
    - Establish Baseline Tecnam Performance
    - Pilot Familiarity


  • Retrofit of a Baseline General Aviation Aircraft with an Electric Propulsion System
  • Ground and Flight Test Validation of Electric Motors, Batteries, and Instrumentation
  • GOALS:
    - Establish Electric Power System Flight Safety
    - Establish Electric Tecnam Retrofit Baseline.
    -Optimize design for 3.3x lower energy use at high speed


  • Modified Configuration with a Cruise-optimized DEP Wing
  • Electric Cruise Motors Repositioned to Wingtips
  • Installation of High-Lift Nacelles along Wing’s Leading Edge
  • GOALS:
    - Optimize Design for Additional 1.5x Reduction in Energy Use
    - Reduction of Wing Area to Reduce Friction Drag


  • Modified Configuration for Adequate Low-Speed Takeoff
  • Ground and Flight Test with Fully-Integrated DEP High-Lift Motors and Folding Propellers
  • GOALS:
    - Certification Basis of DEPTechnologies
    - DEP Acoustics Testing
    - Low-Speed Control Robustness
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