A version of this article appears in the July 7 edition of Aviation Week & Space Technology. Among the first steps to energy-efficient hybrid-electric distributed propulsion are two small unmanned-aircraft prototypes being tested under a NASA program. These cruise-efficient vertical-takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) UAS represent the first turn in the agency’s spiral development plan for electric propulsion. The aircraft—NASA Langley Research Center’s GL-10 Greased Lightning ...

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