March 26, 2020
NASA has released three concept art images showing its X-57 Maxwell all-electric X-plane in its final configuration. The first manned X-plane from NASA in two decades, the X-57 is shown in its Modification iV (Mod IV) form, which includes a high-aspect-ratio wing and 5-ft (1.5-m) diameter wingtip propellers to recover energy from wingtip vortices.
Designed to help develop certification standards that can be applied to electric aircraft as they come onto the market, the X-57 began as a four-seater Tecnam P2006T conventional light aircraft that had its twin Rotax 912S3 four-cylinder piston engines replaced by 12 electric motor nacelles with individual propellers, plus two larger propellers on the wingtips.
According to the space agency, this…