NASA's GL-10 Plane Can Take Off Vertically Like a Helicopter

By: Rahul Kalvapalle - May 5, 2015
References: nasa.gov & gizmag
NASA's 'Greased Lightning' or GL-10 is a ten-engine electric plane that is capable of executing vertical takeoffs -- much like a helicopter -- before transitioning over to horizontal flight.

This aircraft is currently in prototype stage, and is fitted with four motors on either wing plus two on the tail area. These motors are powered by a pair of 8 brake horsepower diesel engines which charge the aircraft's lithium-ion batteries.

The ability to combine vertical take-off ability with horizontal flight has long represented a holy grail of sorts for the military and aerospace industries, as it allows for aircraft to hit the air without having to rely on a long runway. The GL-10's ability to do this marks it out as a true marvel of aerospace engineering.