NASA Unveils Experimental Electric Plane - NBC10 Boston
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NASA Unveils Experimental Electric Plane

The NASA X-57 Maxwell plane, or X-Plane, will begin air testing as early as next year

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    NASA Unveils All-Electric Plane

    NASA showed off its all-electric X-Plane, which will allow flight with no carbon emission. Gene Kang reports for the NBC4 News at 5:55 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019. (Published Friday, Nov. 8, 2019)

    NASA is developing a plane that may pave the way for greener air travel.

    The NASA X-57 Maxwell plane--referred to as the X-Plane--is an all-electric experimental aircraft. Instead of fuel-powered turbine engines, the X-Plane gets its juice from lithium ion battery packs.

    It can perhaps best be described as a Tesla with wings.

    Brent Cobleigh, NASA Flight Demonstrations and Capabilities Project Manager, said the X-Plane serves as a glimpse into the future.

    Trapped Hong Kong Protesters Rappel Down Hoses to Escape

    [NATL] Trapped Hong Kong Protesters Rappel Down Hoses to Escape

    Harrowing footage shows protesters trapped inside Hong Kong Polytechnic University rappelling down hoses to escape a police siege. About 100 anti-government protesters remain inside the university on a third day of clashes between protesters and police. 

    (Published Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019)

    "To see the era of the Jetsons be something that’s potentially real is pretty exciting," Cobleigh said.

    The X-Plane is currently in its Modification II configuration, and is one of three all-electric configurations being used to develop certification standards for electric aircraft markets.

    Each of the lithium ion battery packs used in the plane weighs about 51 pounds, and the X-Plane uses about 800 pounds of battery packs in total to function.

    "That battery can put in about the amount of power you need to power 100 average American houses," Cobleigh said.

    The plane also features 14 electric motors and propellers, which allow for greater efficiency and zero in-flight carbon emissions. The aircraft’s electric components also alter the noise it emits, resulting in a softer, higher-pitched sound when compared to regular planes.

    The X-Plane will begin air testing as early as next year when it is shared with the government and the airline industry.

    Melting Sea Ice Spurs Spread of Marine Diseases

    [NATL] Melting Sea Ice Spurs Spread of Marine Diseases

    Melting sea ice on its own presents plenty of challenges for Arctic marine mammals, from loss of habitat, to changing predator prey dynamics. Now there's a new challenge present in a link between sea ice loss and the spread of disease between previously isolated marine life.

    (Published Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019)