NASA’s New UAV is 80% 3D-Printed

The Langley Aerodrome #8 completes its first wind tunnel test. (NASA)

One of the keys to Urban Air Mobility (UAM) is exploring how different technologies and configurations of aircraft will perform in the urban environment. NASA’s newest modular unmanned aerial system, the Langley Aerodrome #8 (LA-8), is a testbed to investigate these technologies.

Roughly 80% of the LA-8 is made from 3D-printed material, allowing engineers to change the wings, the fuselage, and other sections quite rapidly. The LA-8 recently completed its first wind tunnel test; the data can help the private sector accelerate the Urban Air Mobility effort.