The Big Picture: NASA's electric plane achieves vertical takeoff

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While EVs like the Tesla Model S and Renovo Coupe gain steam here on the ground, engineers at NASA's Langley Research Center are taking electric propulsion technology to new heights. What you see above is the GL-10 -- AKA Greased Lightning. This serious looking unmanned aerial system has a 10-foot wingspan and is powered by 10 individual electric motors with enough torque to propel it straight up in the air like a Harrier Jet. The GL-10 is nowhere near the size or weight of a Boeing V-22 Osprey, but that sort of maneuver is nonetheless impressive for a battery-powered machine.

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