NASA's Greased Lightning Drone - Tilting Wings Allow Vertical Take-off

nasa drone

The guys at NASA are, rumour has it, pretty good at working with aerial vehicles. With that in mind it's no surprise that they're busy working on their own drone. So far they've given it the full NASA treatment, including a great name: The Greased Lightning.

NASA's GL-10 has a ten-foot wing span, 10 engines and the ability to tilt its wings once airborne, meaning it takes off via a helicopter-like hover, and flies around like a normal propeller-driven plane. NASA officials also say that the Greased Lightning makes less noise than a neighbor mowing the lawn. 

The team at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia this week revealed new footage (above) direct from the cockpit of the GL-10 in flight, signalling that it may not be too long before a practical use is found for the Space Agency's most recent innovation. Bill Fredericks, an aerospace engineer at NASA said that "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."