Could this be the future — a plane with many electric motors that can hover like a helicopter and fly like a plane, and that could revolutionize air travel?
Engineers at NASA's Langley Research Center are studying the concept of a plane with many electric motors that can hover like a helicopter and fly like a plane. They are using models such as the unmanned aerial system GL-10 Greased Lightning. The GL-10, which has a 10-foot wingspan, recently flew successfully while tethered. Free-flight tests are planned for this fall.
This research has helped lead to NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate efforts to better understand the potential of electric propulsion across all types, sizes and missions for aviation.