What is the X-57?

A small, experimental airplane powered by electricity! All-electric technology will make flying cleaner, quieter, and more sustainable.

X-plane Past

X-planes are experimental U.S. airplanes and rockets that test new technologies and aerodynamic concepts.

Bell X-1 in flight. Bell X-1
First plane to fly the speed of sound at Mach 1
Neil Armstrong standing in front of the X-57. X-15
Holds the unofficial world speed and altitude records for an airplane of Mach 6.7 and 354,200 feet. Before he was an astronaut, Navy pilot Neil Armstrong flew the X-15 seven times.
NASA's Swept Wing aircraft in flight. X-29
Built of carbon fiber composite material to allow greater flexibility, the X-29 was the first forward swept wing aircraft to fly supersonic speed in level flight.

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X-Plane Future

NASA uses:

  • computer modeling
  • scale models
  • wind tunnels
  • prototype test flights
  • to design and test X-planes
Artist concept of the X-57.
Artist concept of a low boom flight demonstrator
Artist concept of the Dzyne blended wing body (BWB)

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New Technologies

Technologies, not aircraft!

NASA researchers are looking at ways to improve aircraft, not reinvent them.

Schlieren photography showing a planes shockwaves.

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New Challenges

  • Reduce noise
  • Lower fuel usage
  • Lower emissions

CFD image showing sound created by air flowing around the landing gear area.