NASA has released its first concept art image, showing its all-electric X-Plane, called the X-57 Maxwell. Rendering images show the plane outside nasa’s Armstrong Flight Research Center hangar. The center is located at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
Traditionally, X-men or experimental aircraft have been responsible for breaking through certain restrictions in the aviation field. The first supersonic aircraft was the X- aircraft. The X-57 Maxwell is the first unmanned X aircraft in more than 20 years. The rendering shows the aircraft’s final all-electric configuration, Mod IV.
This configuration features thin, high-proportion wings and is designed to increase efficiency and reduce flight resistance. The plane is also equipped with an electric cruise motor and a 5-foot-diameter propeller in the wingtip, in order to recover the energy lost to the wingtip vortex. There are 12 smaller high-lift motors and propellers on the wings between these larger wingtip motors.
These additional motors allow the X-57 to take off at standard speeds. These motors are activated only during take-off and are disabled in cruise mode. When smaller motors are deactivated, their propeller blades are folded into the cabin to reduce resistance.