NASA researchers create 10-engine vertical takeoff electric airplane

NASA Langley Research Center scientists have created an interesting new electric aircraft that has ten engines. The engines are fitted to a large remote controlled aircraft and sit on a wing that is designed to pivot to allow the eight engines on the main wing to face upwards like a helicopter.

On the rear tail section of the aircraft are two more electric engines that are capable of pivoting upwards. With the wing and tail pivoted upwards, the experimental aircraft can take off and land like a helicopter. Once in the air the wing and tail sections can be moved into a normal aircraft configuration to fly forward.

The test aircraft is called Greased Lightning or GL-10. Initially the aircraft is being eyed as a UAV for small package delivery, long endurance surveillance for agriculture, mapping, or other applications. NASA researchers also think that a scaled up version of the aircraft could hold one to four people.

Originally, the researchers wanted to create an aircraft with a 20-foot wingspan with engines using hybrid diesel/electric tech. The team settled on the smaller carbon fiber GL-10 you see in the image here. This aircraft has a 10-foot wingspan and can weigh 62 pounds at take off.