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NASA to Hold High-Voltage Ground Tests for X-57 Electric Aircraft

X-57 Maxwell
X-57 Maxwell

NASA is slated to conduct ground tests for high-voltage operation of an experimental plane being designed by Empirical Systems Aerospace to help the agency create certification requirements for electric aircraft units.

NASA said Thursday it will test the X-57 Maxwell's startup and shutdown sequences and verify if the aircraft's motor control software will boot up and function properly.

The agency will power up and throttle the X-plane's electric cruise motors to determine if they will yield sufficient power. NASA will also test Maxwell's instrumentation system and sensor components.

The aircraft is in its Mod 2 configuration and will draw electricity from a high-voltage power supply via a battery support system during the demonstration, which will take place at Armstrong Flight Research Center in California.

According to NASA, the all-electric X-plane will undergo a final verification and validation phase following the completion of the ground tests.

Maxwell is a customized P2006T aircraft equipped with a modified electric propulsion platform. 

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Written by Matthew Nelson

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