NASA experts held the tests of telemetry equipment demonstrator 14-motor electric plane X-57 Maxwell. As written by Aviation Week, we are in preparation for the first flight of the aircraft, which should take place before the end of the 2020 financial year (ends 30 September).
Ground tests of this modification of Maxwell began at the end of June 2019. In particular, the aircraft first started the motors. In addition, last year the experts tested the avionics of the aircraft.
During testing, telemetry equipment NASA experts have verified that it is able to read and transfer data with the onboard equipment of the aircraft, to transmit telemetry information to the ground station in real time and keep a record of it for later analysis.
In the air the telemetry equipment will transfer professionals information about the aircraft speed, altitude and direction of flight, location, voltage, energy consumption and loads on the structural elements of the airframe.
Assembly X-57 is NASA in 2016 on the basis of piston aircraft Tecnam P2006T. The project is implemented in successive stages. In the first stage, with the P2006T dismantled the engines and fuel system, had electropathology, installed a new instrument panel, installed the batteries.
In the second phase, the aircraft set two electric motors with three-bladed propellers. The motors were installed in a regular place of piston engines. Later on the plane will replace the standard wing with wing with high elongation.
Eventually, NASA plans to get an electric plane with 14 electric motors, 12 of which will be located on the front edge of the wing, and two larger and more powerful — at its ends. Small motors will work when maneuvering, takeoff and landing, and a more powerful in-flight at cruising speed.
Earlier Norwegian company Equator Aicraft announced about beginning of development of electric racing aircraft. With this aircraft the company intends to participate in the first races of electric planes Air Race E, is scheduled for 2021.