Is it a helicopter? Is it a plane? NASA has developed a 10-engine electric vehicle that can take off like a helicopter but fly a plane.
The prototype, dubbed ‘Greased Lightning,' or ‘GL-10' is initially being developed as a drone, according to NASA but could eventually become a manned vehicle.
"We have a couple of options that this concept could be good for," said Bill Fredericks, NASA aerospace engineer, in a statement. "It could be used for small package delivery or vertical take off and landing, long endurance surveillance for agriculture, mapping and other applications. A scaled up version -- much larger than what we are testing now -- would make also a great one to four person size personal air vehicle."
The drone, which was developed by a team at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., has a 10-foot wingspan, eight electric motors on the wings, two electric motors on the tail and weighs 62 pounds at take off.