What is X-57 Maxwell?

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What is X-57 Maxwell? Blog Image


NASA's X-57 Maxwell all-electric aircraft project will soon conclude aircraft operational activities, with documentation and close-out activities continuing for several months afterwards.

About X-57 Maxwell:


  • It is an all-electric experimental aircraft designed to demonstrate multiple leading-edge technologies.
  •  It is being designed and developed by NASA.
  • Goal: To demonstrate that an all-electric airplane can be more efficient, quieter and more environmentally friendly than airplanes powered by traditional gas piston engines.
  •  Design:
    • It was made by modifying an Italian Texnam P2006T light aircraft to be powered by an electric propulsion system.
    • It will demonstrate the use of a high-power distributed electric propulsion system for use on an aircraft, including a 460 volt battery to power 14 motors and propellers.
    • The cruise motor controllers are critical components of the X-57’s powertrain, as they convert the energy stored in the aircraft’s lithium-ion batteries to power the motors that spin the electric propellers.
    • The wing, which is being reduced to 42% of the original size to significantly reduce drag, will feature wing-tip propellers to reduce the wing-tip vortex at cruise.


Q1) What are lithium-ion batteries?

A lithium-ion battery is a type of rechargeable battery that is charged and discharged by lithium ions moving between the negative (anode) and positive (cathode) electrodes. Because lithium-ion batteries are suitable for storing high-capacity power, they are used in a wide range of applications, including consumer electronics such as smartphones and PCs, industrial robots, production equipment and automobiles.


Source: NASA builds all-electric aircraft to create path toward electric aviation