Greased Lightning: 10 electric motors, 10-foot wing!

Greased Lightning: 10 electric motors, 10-foot wing!

Check out this prototype! Engineers at NASA’s Langley Research Center hope unmanned aerial systems like this GL-10 Greased Lightning will be able to fly like a plane and hover like a multirotor. The GL-10 recently flew successfully while tethered; full flight tests are planned in the fall of 2014.

Updated: August 21, 2014 — 1:11 PM


  1. on a tether? no wonder it flew, appears to be a lack of faith in the design. My instructor will whip up a bird in his shop and not know if it will fly until he tries it. ‘course it could be they don’t have any RC pilots to test fly it. I would be glad to test fly it for them.

    1. It’s only a prototype, so it goes to reason that the first few would be tethered.

    2. Tethered flights are SOP for testing new designs, and come after the aerodynamic testing in the wind tunnel. Free flights are later, after the bugs are worked out, no matter how confident the engineers are in their design.

    3. Hey, if I knew I could spend tax-payer’s money, on a prototype I would have the best motors, ESCs, and electronics money could buy. They probably have $!,000,000 in it. I would tether it too! Except why use the shape of an airplane? If you use that many motors, why not make it a quad UAV?

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