An important step forward for the X-57 Maxwell, NASA’s first all-electric X-plane.
Several rounds of tests, high power, and endurance testing are undertaken at Empirical Systems Aerospace, or ESAero, of San Luis Obispo – California, to verify that the electric cruise motors are ready before they are installed in the X-57 vehicle itself.
X-57, modified from a Tecnam P2006T airplane, is currently in its first of three configurations as an all-electric aircraft, called Modification II, or Mod II.
Only at last phase 12 smaller high-lift motors along the wing’s leading edge will be ready to be activated during takeoff and landing.
All three mods of X-57 will utilize the same cruise motors and these verification and validation steps are to reduce risks and increase the safety and reliability of the components on the vehicle.
The results from cruise motor functionality acceptance and qualification tests will help in the effort to set airworthiness standards for electric aircraft.