Due to the electric powertrain and 14 individual propellers, efficiency of the X-57 is 500% higher than conventional aircraft.
Only time will tell whether the research plane will open the way for a commercial model in the future. A lot depends on batteries – their energy density and costs.
More about the project:
"With 14 electric motors turning propellers and all of them integrated into a uniquely-designed wing, NASA will test new propulsion technology using an experimental airplane now designated the X-57 and nicknamed "Maxwell." This artist's concept of the X-57 shows the plane's specially designed wing and 14 electric motors. NASA Aeronautics researchers will use the Maxwell to demonstrate that electric propulsion can make planes quieter, more efficient and more environmentally friendly.