Inspired by quadcopters and airplanes alike, NASA engineered made the best of both worlds and designed a 10-engine electric craft that can hover like a drone, but also cruise like a plane. Called Greased Lightning or GL-10, the craft is allegedly four times more efficient than a helicopter in cruise mode, while also retaining vertical take off capabilities.
It’s been some time since the concept has been in works, and as testament lie some of the battered prototypes which had to make a ‘hard landing’. In any event, the prototype they’re working with now and demoed on YouTube is quite impressive. The current version weighs 62 pounds with a 10-foot wingspan, and can perform an in-air transition to airplane in no time and with no difficulties. According to Bill Fredericks, an aerospace engineer at NASA, the model can be scaled-up to “make also a great one to four-person-size personal air vehicle.” How freakin’ awesome is that?