NASA Aeronautics doesn’t get quite the same hype as anything pertaining to outer space, but their ten engine, unmanned electric plane recently successfully transitioned from hover mode to wing-borne flight and back again in mid-air.
Now, that’s impressive!
Going from electric drone, to chopper, to airplane and back is no easy task, but Greased Lightning (GL-10) made transitioning from vertical to forward flight without falling out of the sky look like a piece of cake last week.
The drone, which features a ten-foot wingspan, with eight electric motors along its wings and two on its tail, hovers like a helicopter for take-off and landing, then switches to airplane mode by tilting its wings forward in midair.
Below, you can watch Greased Lightning’s first successful transition from chopper to airplane, a capability that could provide applications in package delivery as well as surveillance/mapping programs.