Animation of an Artist concept X-57 in flight over a cityscape.

What is the X-57?

A small, experimental airplane powered by electricity!

All-electric technology will make flying cleaner, quieter, and more sustainable.

Animation of an Artist concept of X-57 in flight over land.

Why build an electric airplane?

Electric power is efficient and reliable. Electric motors can be placed anywhere on the plane to improve efficiency





Animations showing the 4 modications on the X-57.

How will the X-57 be built?

An Italian Tecnam P2006T aircraft will be modified with an electric propulsion system. NASA will compare data from the Tecnam to the X-57 to measure efficiency.

Modification 1

Modification 2

Modification 3

Modification 4

Animated gif of an X-57 Maxwell artist concept flying through the clouds.

Why so many motors?

You've probably noticed all the propellers along X-57's wing. It takes a lot of lift to get an airplane off the ground!

How can all that lift be created?

Battery animation

Can batteries power an airplane?

Batteries power everything from your cell phone to equipment on the International Space Station! The X-57 uses rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.

Lithium-ion (Video)

X-57 Setup

Testing (Videos)

Small Wings motor

How can a small wing act bigger?

The X-57 aircraft uses 12 small motors located across the wing to increase airflow so that the wing produces lift even when the aircraft is flying slowly.

X-57 Physics (Video)

Animated NASA Logo on a purple sky

Who's on the team?

Engineers, researchers, pilots, visual artists, and many other people from the four flight centers and business partnerships work together to make the X-57 Maxwell idea a reality.



Fact Sheet

X-57 Educator Guide

X-57 Student Activity

X-57 Mini-Poster