NASA has recently unveiled their drone prototype, the GL-10, aka Greased Lightning. The GL-10 is an unmanned vehicle developed at Langley in Hampton, Virginia.

nasa-greased-lightning-drone-super-169

This battery-powered drone has a 10’/3m wingspan, 10 electric motors and weighs 28kg. The 10 powerful engines allow for vertical takeoff and landing, similar to a helicopter.

According to the prototype’s main pilot: “All four engines on the left wing are given the same command. The four engines on the right wing also work in concert. Then the two on the tail receive the same command.”

Flight tests have already been performed, which successfully demonstrate the vertical takeoff and landing capabilities.

In a NASA press release, Bill Fredericks stated: “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,”.

“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.”

We did lose some of the early prototypes to ‘hard landings’ as we learned how to configure the flight control system.

The GL-10 is actually the 12th in the prototype development phase. To get to the point that GL-10 is at, all 11 prior prototypes were required. NASA engineer David North explains further:  “Each prototype helped us answer technical questions while keeping costs down…We did lose some of the early prototypes to ‘hard landings’ as we learned how to configure the flight control system. But we discovered something from each loss and were able to keep moving forward.”

nasa-greased-lightning-engineers-super-169

What are some of the applications the GL-10 could be used for? According to Bill Fredericks: “We have a couple of options that this concept could be good for. It could be used for small package delivery or vertical takeoff 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.”

Fredericks added: “It’s pretty quiet. The current prototype is quieter than a neighbor mowing the lawn with a gas-powered motor.”

The team will continue working to improve aerodynamic efficiency, and will be demonstrating the drone at upcoming NASA events.

NASA developing part helicopter, part airplane drone http://www.gizbeat.com/wp-content/uploads/nasa-greased-lightning-engineers-super-169-450x253.jpghttp://www.gizbeat.com/wp-content/uploads/nasa-greased-lightning-engineers-super-169-150x150.jpg Damian Parsons NoteworthyRecentTech
NASA has recently unveiled their drone prototype, the GL-10, aka Greased Lightning. The GL-10 is an unmanned vehicle developed at Langley in Hampton, Virginia. This battery-powered drone has a 10'/3m wingspan, 10 electric motors and weighs 28kg. The 10 powerful engines allow for vertical takeoff and landing, similar to a helicopter. According...
NASA has recently unveiled their drone prototype, the GL-10, aka Greased Lightning. The GL-10 is an unmanned vehicle developed at Langley in Hampton, Virginia. <a href="http://www.gizbeat.com/wp-content/uploads/nasa-greased-lightning-drone-super-169.jpg"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-7642 size-large" src="http://www.gizbeat.com/wp-content/uploads/nasa-greased-lightning-drone-super-169-450x253.jpg" alt="nasa-greased-lightning-drone-super-169" width="450" height="253" /></a> This battery-powered drone has a 10'/3m wingspan, 10 electric motors and weighs 28kg. The 10 powerful engines allow for vertical takeoff and landing, similar to a helicopter. According to the prototype's main pilot: "All four engines on the left wing are given the same command. The four engines on the right wing also work in concert. Then the two on the tail receive the same command." <a href="http://www.gizbeat.com/wp-content/uploads/nasa-greased-lightning-drone-in-air-super-169.jpg"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-7638 size-large" src="http://www.gizbeat.com/wp-content/uploads/nasa-greased-lightning-drone-in-air-super-169-450x253.jpg" alt="" width="450" height="253" /></a> Flight tests have already been performed, which successfully demonstrate the vertical takeoff and landing capabilities. https://youtu.be/kXql26sF5uc In a NASA press release, Bill Fredericks stated: "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,". "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." <blockquote>We did lose some of the early prototypes to 'hard landings' as we learned how to configure the flight control system.</blockquote> The GL-10 is actually the 12th in the prototype development phase. To get to the point that GL-10 is at, all 11 prior prototypes were required. NASA engineer David North explains further:  "Each prototype helped us answer technical questions while keeping costs down...We did lose some of the early prototypes to 'hard landings' as we learned how to configure the flight control system. But we discovered something from each loss and were able to keep moving forward." <a href="http://www.gizbeat.com/wp-content/uploads/nasa-greased-lightning-engineers-super-169.jpg"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-7641 size-large" src="http://www.gizbeat.com/wp-content/uploads/nasa-greased-lightning-engineers-super-169-450x253.jpg" alt="nasa-greased-lightning-engineers-super-169" width="450" height="253" /></a> What are some of the applications the GL-10 could be used for? According to Bill Fredericks: "We have a couple of options that this concept could be good for. It could be used for small package delivery or vertical takeoff 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." Fredericks added: "It's pretty quiet. The current prototype is quieter than a neighbor mowing the lawn with a gas-powered motor." The team will continue working to improve aerodynamic efficiency, and will be demonstrating the drone at upcoming NASA events.


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