Its next X-plane may still be on the drawing board, but NASA is already learning the challenges it will face building and testing the aircraft, which will demonstrate distributed electric propulsion. Now called Sceptor, for Scalable Convergent Electric Propulsion Technology and Operations Research, the aircraft is planned to fly in 2017, but will build on ground tests of a truck-mounted wing with 18 leading-edge propellers now underway at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center at ...

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