NASA UAV VTOL successfull forward flight

Hopefully (as against expectations) they will produce and sell the airframe for us the hobbyist ;)

NASA GL-10 takeoff

A team at NASA's 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 initial thought was to develop a 20-foot wingspan (6.1 meters) aircraft powered by hybrid diesel/electric engines, but the team started with smaller versions for testing, built by rapid prototyping.

During a recent spring day the engineers took the GL-10 to test its wings at a military base about two hours away from NASA Langley. 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. This photograph captures the GL-10 prototype taking off in hover mode like a helicopter.

Image Credit: NASA Langley/David C. Bowman

Full article here

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  • Developer

    Its a great looking VTOL.  I've so many questions.  I hope the technical specifications come out at some point along with control code and algorithms.

    Thanks, Grant.

  • @Ouroboros Nice summary of most of the hybrids out there.

    To be honest the Vertex Hybrid is quite promising.

    My team and I are working on a hybrid (quite simple) tailored to cargo transportation. We are planning to fly on August so we will let everybody know about it :)

    We haven't planned yet which market to target first but consumers market might be an option.

  • I imagine this is cross related to the LEAPtech NASA research for a high aspect ratio wing with distributed electric propulsion, currently being worked on by Joby Aviation.

    Joby is currently working on two very interesting concepts, the Lotus and S2. The S2 is very similar to the GL-10, but is tilt rotor (nacelle tip rotor swivel), and features stopped feathering rotor concepts for the lift rotors (to conserve energy during forward flight), and forward propulsion optimized rotors. There are also hoping to build the S2 sized for the general aviation market as a manned platform, but will probably make a unmanned prototype. Somewhat similar would be the Vertex Hybrid drone recently posted here and running on Kickstarter (Vertex uses trailing pusher rotor the tilt swivel rather than the S2 with tractor rotors). Is anybody currently working on purchasable drone similar to the GL-10 or S2?

    Joby is also working on the Lotus, which is a tricopter with stopped rotor wingtip rotors, that have an interesting folding mechanism to resemble a bird's wingtip. The tail tractor rotor tilt swivels for vertical and forward propulsion.

  • I did accurate landing in 25 knots wind speed with this VTOL

  • It is really challenging!
    Thanks for sharing.

    I have some colleagues which I work with on a similar project: A hybrid VTOL vehicle capable up top 60km range at 5kg PL maximum.
    We think it is really the technology to be developed and applied on the logistic segment.

    We hope to fly on first of August so that we can share it here with you guys and, who knows, you can get inspire and collaborate!

  • Developer

    I can see the north sea from my kitchen window, so I know all about landing in strong gusty winds.

    In strong gusts, you get about the same amount of dancing around on a multicopter as with a plane. If that is your criteria, helicopters are the best by far when it comes to steady flight in strong wind.

    Another thing is that copters must pitch into the wind to maintain position making it harder to land. Planes on the other hand pitch the nose up into the wind.

  • @Colugo

    we all are aware that Nasa does NOT have any serious track record, they are just pissing about....... ;), so I guess they will use this to land:

  • Try to land it in 25 knots gusty wind speed

  • Developer

    Only if you let the wind hit at an angle. The nice thing about VTOL is that you can always make sure you are facing the wind, turning the hover into something close to a harrier maneuver.

  • Its great but only when there is no wind.

    On a windy weather the wing acts like a sail which is very difficult to control.

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