NASA picks the Tecnam P2006T Twin for evaluation of ‘LEAPTech’ electric powered propulsion technology

The Tecnam company has announced that NASA has selected the P2006T Twin as the airframe on which it will evaluate the potential of ‘LEAPtech’ (Leading Edge Asynchronous Technology).

This programme has the aim of developing safer, more energy efficient GA aircraft with lower operating costs and a greener approach using electrical propulsion.

A 31ft experimental aircraft wing, with 18 electric motors placed along the leading edge, will be mounted onto the P2006T frame. The wing will be made of carbon composite, and the electric motors will be powered by lithium iron phosphate batteries. The wing and electric motors will be manufactured and integrated on the airframe by US-based ESAero and Joby Aviation.

Researchers hope to fly the modified piloted X-plane within the next couple years, which will enable NASA engineers to compare the performance of the X-plane version with the standard P2006T Twin.