NASA Drone Turns From Plane To Chopper
It’s a bird, it’s a plane…it’s a chopper?
That’s right NASA Aeronautics has been cooking up something pretty amazing. Known as the Greased Lightning (GL-10), this prototype NASA drone with a ten foot wingspan is able to transform from a chopper into an airplane.
The way it works can be seen in the video below. The electric drone takes off like a helicopter, with its wings pointed up. Once in the air, the wings tilt forward and the drone maneuvers like a airplane.
It truly is a feat of engineering and science to make sure this drone does not fall out of the sky when transitioning from chopper to plane.
“During the flight tests we successfully transitioned from hover to wing-borne flight like a conventional airplane then back to hover again. So far we have done this on five flights,” aerospace engineer Bill Fredericks said in a statement. “We were ecstatic. Now we’re working on our second goal — to demonstrate that this concept is four times more aerodynamically efficient in cruise than a helicopter.”
Though this prototype may never see the light of day, it is beautiful to see where technology is headed. What do you think the future holds for this helicopter/plane hybrid and aero technology as a whole?