NASA image: Cockpit of the first all-electric propulsion aircraft
NASA's Scalable Convergent Electric Propulsion Technology and Operations Research (SCEPTOR) project has reached a critical milestone, where the electric propulsion integration and conversion of the Tecnam P2006T aircraft into the X-57 will commence. The aircraft will be converted into the first manned X-plane to feature a distributed electric propulsion system.
X-57 is the result of research and testing done through the Convergent Aeronautics Solution's (CAS) sub-project SCEPTOR, which falls under the Transformative Aeronautics Concepts Program. NASA's goal of meeting and overcoming the challenges of today's aviation starts with potentially revolutionary ideas, and CAS was instrumental in supporting the idea of zero-carbon-emitting distributed electric propulsion.
SCEPTOR will become the first CAS sub-project to graduate to the Flight Demonstrations and Capabilities project under the Integrated Aviation Systems Program, and X-57 will be the first of a series of increasingly larger electric aircraft in support of the New Aviation Horizons initiative.