NASA’s first electric plane is getting ready for takeoff.
For the last five years, a small team of NASA engineers has been working to convert an Italian Tecnam P2006T aircraft so that it runs only on battery power. The X-57 Maxwell, named after 19th-century Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell, recently began high-voltage functional ground testing at the Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif., and is set to take its inaugural flight in the spring of 2022.
That flight, when it happens, will signal a crucial milestone for NASA, which has been tasked by President Joe Biden to focus more of its resources on lessening the impact of climate change.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson toured Armstrong last week, where he got an…