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Nasa unveils X-57 Maxwell with 14 electric motors

Staff writer ▼ | June 17, 2016
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden revealed the agency's first X-plane designation in a decade during his keynote speech in Washington at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) annual Aviation and Aeronautics Forum and Exposition, Aviation 2016.
First X-plane   Opening a new era of aviation
'With the return of piloted X-planes to NASA's research capabilities – which is a key part of our 10-year-long New Aviation Horizons initiative – the general aviation-sized X-57 will take the first step in opening a new era of aviation,' Bolden said.

As many as five larger transport-scale X-planes also are planned as part of the initiative.

Its goals – like the X-57 – include demonstrating advanced technologies to reduce fuel use, emissions and noise, and thus accelerate their introduction to the marketplace.

The X-57 number designation was assigned by the U.S. Air Force, which manages the history-making process, following a request from NASA.

'Dozens of X-planes of all shapes, sizes and purposes have since followed – all of them contributing to our stature as the world's leader in aviation and space technology,' said Jaiwon Shin, associate administrator for NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate.