Wonderful Engineering

NASA’s New Ten Engine Hybrid Drone Can Fly Like A Helicopter And Airplane

Here we cover another exciting hybrid drone. The last article we presented on multifunctional drones like these rotated its two propellers to switch between the two modes of flight. Well, NASA’s aeronautics division has gone one step ahead (rather 8 propellers ahead) to make the world’s only ten engine drone.

Curiously named Greased Lightning or GL-10, it has a wingspan of 10 meters and eight props are present on the wing and a further two occupy the tail. In order to make a take-off, it moves both its wing tail to a vertical position and take off like a helicopter. Once significant height and velocity have been achieved, the wings move into a more horizontal position to start a fixed wing flight.

But this transition is what NASA hopes it would do. This transition is by no means an easy feat as the drone can easily be caught up between the two modes and lose control. Yes, just like previous futile attempts.

But, it is hoped that the GL-10 due to its larger thrust capacity and better balance, it would be able to transition very smoothly.  If it is able to fulfill the early promise it has shown, it could be used for a wide range of actions like remote package delivery, agricultural surveying and geographical mapping.

Here, take a look at the awesome shift from one flight pattern to another: