NASA performs propeller wind tunnel tests for its all-electric X-57

NASA has come a step closer to flying its all-electric X-57 Maxwell. The first manned X-plane in two decades was delivered by manufacturer ESAero last month. It is based on a Tecnam P2006T aircraft where in its first configuration the two piston engines are replaced by two electric motors. In later iterations, the aircraft will be powered using distributed propulsion along the leading edge of the wing. NASA has now completed wind tunnel testing on the propellers to be used in this distributed propulsion configuration at the Langley Low-Speed Aeroacoustic Wind Tunnel. Twelve of these high-lift motors will be used…

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Bell and NASA perform autonomous drone test flight in controlled airspace

Bell, the helicopter manufacturer that is part of Textron and has previously announced its engagement in the urban air mobility market, flew its APT 70 drone beyond visual line-of-sight in the Class B airspace around Forth Worth, TX. The Autonomous Pod Transport (APT) 70 is a VTOL drone built for delivery in military and medical missions or commercial use. It can fly 35 miles (56km) at 110kts while carrying a payload of up to 70lbs (31kg). The demonstration flight was a joint effort with NASA, as part of its Systems Integration and Operationalization program, which looks at integration of unmanned…

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