NASA Tests 10 Engine Electric Plane

NASA Tests 10 Engine Electric Plane

NASA

NASA scientists developed an electric plane with 10 engines. The prototype is called Greased Lightning or GL-10.



NASA Langley Research Center is developing a concept of a battery-powered plane that has 10 engines and can take off like a helicopter and fly efficiently like an aircraft. The prototype, called Greased Lightning or GL-10, is currently in the design and testing phase. The Greased Lightning beats drones that only have 4 engines. NASA scientists for some reason use ten engines to make this plane.

The remotely piloted plane has a 10-foot wingspan (3.05 meters), eight electric motors on the wings, two electric motors on the tail and weighs a maximum of 62 pounds (28.1 kilograms) at take off. 

The initial plan was to develop a 20-foot wingspan (6.1 meters) aircraft powered by hybrid diesel/electric engines, but the research team started with smaller versions for testing, built by rapid prototyping.

“We have a couple of options that this concept could be good for,” said Bill Fredericks, aerospace engineer. “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 next step in the GL-10 test program is to try to confirm its aerodynamic efficiency, but first is a stop at the Association for Unmanned Vehicles Systems International 2015 conference in Atlanta /4/4-7. The GL-10 will be the centerpiece of an exhibit showcasing some of NASA Langley’s UAV research.


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