NASA unveils its first electric airplane - a work in progress

Discussion in 'General' started by interestedinEV, Nov 10, 2019.

  1. interestedinEV

    interestedinEV Well-Known Member

    Good to see that NASA wants to further this technology rather than build a product. The aim is help further development in EP (Electric planes)

    EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (Reuters) - NASA, most prominent for its many Florida-launched exploits into space, showcased an early version of its first all-electric experimental aircraft, the X-57 “Maxwell,” on Friday at its lesser-known aeronautics lab in the California desert.
    NASA also showed off a newly built simulator that allows engineers, and pilots, to get the feel of what it will be like to maneuver the finished version of the X-57 in flight, even as the plane remains under development.
    While private companies have been developing all-electric planes and hover-craft for years, NASA’s X-57 venture is aimed at designing and proving technology according to standards that commercial manufacturers can adapt for government certification.

    Those will include standards for airworthiness and safety, as well as for energy efficiency and noise, Brent Cobleigh, a project manager for NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards, about 100 miles (160 km) north of Los Angeles.

    “We’re focusing on things that can help the whole industry, not just one company,” he told Reuters in an interview at the research center. “Our target right now is to fly this airplane in late 2020.”

  2. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Considering the $1B cost of the SLS, this is a good program. The span-wise smaller propeller motors means excellence low speed performance.

    Bob Wilson
  3. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Hmph! Maybe "lesser known" by those who have never read Tom Wolfe's The Right Stuff, nor seen the movie, nor know much about the development of jet planes and rocket planes between WW II and the Mercury program.

    Edwards was where Chuck Yeager was the first man to break the sound barrier, and where the X-15 -- America's first spaceship -- was developed.

    But those were Air Force projects, and Edwards is, so far as I know, still a U.S. Air Force base, not a NASA base.

  4. interestedinEV

    interestedinEV Well-Known Member

    To be precise, it is NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center that is located inside Edwards Air Force Base. I am sure they share facilities, information and possibly personal but are administratively different. So this lab may be lesser known, not Edwards.

    Armstrong Flight Research Center
    The NASA Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center (AFRC) is an aeronautical research center operated by NASA. Its primary campus is located inside Edwards Air Force Base in California and is considered NASA's premier site for aeronautical research.[1] AFRC operates some of the most advanced aircraft in the world and is known for many aviation firsts, including critical support for the first crewed airplane to exceed the speed of sound in level flight with the Bell X-1,[2] highest speed ever recorded by a crewed, powered aircraft (North American X-15),[3][4] the first pure digital fly-by-wire aircraft (F-8 DFBW),[5] and many others. AFRC also operates a second site in Palmdale, Ca. known as Building 703, once the former Rockwell International/North American Aviation production facility, next to Air Force Plant 42.[6] There, AFRC houses and operates several of NASA's Science Mission Directorate aircraft including SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy), a DC-8 Flying Laboratory, a Gulfstream C-20A UAVSAR and ER-2 High Altitude Platform.[1] David McBride is currently the center's director.[7]
    Pushmi-Pullyu likes this.
  5. interestedinEV

    interestedinEV Well-Known Member

    Not sure which program you are talking about but if it is Space Launch System, the tag is more than $1 Billion, in fact you can multiply it 14 times.

    The Space Launch System (SLS) is a US super heavy-lift expendable launch vehicle, which is under development as of 2019. It is the primary launch vehicle of NASA's deep space exploration plans,[9][10] including the planned crewed lunar flights of the Artemis program and a possible follow-on human mission to Mars.[11][12][13] SLS replaces the previous Ares V launch vehicle of 2005, although it shares a number of technologies and systems.

    bwilson4web likes this.
  6. interestedinEV

    interestedinEV Well-Known Member

    electriceddy likes this.
  7. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    My understanding is a single SLS launch will cost $1B. As for the total SLS program cost ... <grumble>.

    Bob Wilson
  8. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    I wondered if that's what you meant by "The $1B cost of the SLS". As "interestedinEV" said, the total cost of the program was... somewhat higher, to put it mildly. To some extent it was a rather glaring example of out-of-control government spending, mostly due to the fact that the requirements for the vehicle kept changing during development. The outcome was a vehicle which was only "reusable" in theory, and in practice had to be partially rebuilt for every launch.

    As one of the worst examples, the reusable solid rocket boosters wound up costing more per launch than disposable boosters would have been.

    I could go on about this subject at length, but it's at least somewhat off-topic for this thread. Those who want a deep dive and a well-written, thorough analysis of the subject can find it in .pdf form here: LEO on the Cheap.


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