US-based engineering, design and manufacturing firm Empirical Systems Aerospace (ESAero) has delivered the first all-electric experimental aircraft, X-57 Mod II.

The aircraft is an all-electric configuration of Nasa’s X-57 Maxwell, or X-plane. It was delivered to the agency’s Armstrong Flight Research Center (AFRC) in Edwards, California.

Nasa engineers will now start conducting ground, taxi and flight tests with the aircraft.

X-57 project manager Tom Rigney said: “With the aircraft in our possession, the X-57 team will soon conduct extensive ground testing of the integrated electric propulsion system to ensure the aircraft is airworthy.

“We plan to rapidly share valuable lessons learned along the way as we progress toward flight testing, helping to inform the growing electric aircraft market.”

The X-57 project is part of Nasa’s Integrated Aviation Systems Program’s Flight Demonstrations and Capabilities project.

It involves the development of the aircraft in three configurations, with Mods III and IV being the other two modifications.

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The X-plane is being developed by integrating a baseline Italian Tecnam P2006T aircraft with electric cruise motors.

The project aims to demonstrate the benefits of distributed electric propulsion technology in general aviation.

ESAero president and CEO Andrew Gibson said: “ESAero is thrilled to be delivering the Mod II X-57 Maxwell to Nasa AFRC.

“This milestone, along with receiving the successfully load-tested Mod III wing-back, will enable Nasa, ESAero and the small business team to accelerate and lead electric air vehicle distributed propulsion development on the Mod III and Mod IV configurations with integration at our facilities in San Luis Obispo.”