NASA’s “all-electric” plane X-57 is set to take off
NASA’s “all-electric” plane X-57 is soon set to take off, the US space agency. The plane has 14 propellers along its wings and is powered entirely by electricity. Recently, NASA’s X-57 Maxwell performed successful thermal testing of its cruise motor controllers. Thermal testing is important because it validates the design, operability, and workmanship quality of aircraft controllers. The controllers have temperature-sensitive parts and must be able to withstand extreme conditions during flight.
About the NASA’s “all-electric” plane X-57
- The X-57 uses lithium batteries to run electric motors for its propellers.
- The cruise motor controllers convert the energy stored in the aircraft’s lithium-ion batteries to power the aircraft’s motors. However, the energy of lithium-ion batteries is 50 times less than aviation fuel.
- The controllers use silicon carbide transistors to deliver 98% efficiency during high-power take-off and cruise, meaning they do not generate excessive heat and can be cooled off by the air flowing through the motor.
- With a range of about 160 km and a flight time of about one hour, the X-57 is not expected to lead to a replacement technology for long-haul flying. Instead, short-hop flights with ten or so passengers are a good and potentially possible target for early, battery-powered flights.
Important takeaways for all competitive exams:
- NASA Headquarters: Washington, D.C., United States;
- NASA Founded: 29 July 1958, United States;
- NASA Founder: Dwight D. Eisenhower.
You may also read this: