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IN PICS: The 'Ninja' plane that can rotate in mid-air!

Last updated on: September 4, 2012 08:46 IST

IN PICS: The 'Ninja' plane that can rotate in mid-air!

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A new type of 'Ninja style' aircraft that spins 90 degrees in air for efficient faster-than-sound flight and 'virtually zero sonic boom' has been granted $100,000 by National Aeronautics and Space Administration for further development.

The plane is created in a way that will allow it to take off from the ground, and then turn on its side once it reaches supersonic atmospheric levels so that it can continue its flight into the uppermost parts of space.

The plane looks something like a four-cornered ninja throwing star with two sides that are extended out while the other two sides are far shorter, the 'Daily Mail' reported.

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Photographs: Picture courtesy: Engadget

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IN PICS: The 'Ninja' plane that can rotate in mid-air!

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As the plane takes off from the ground, it has to have the longer wings on either side, making the plane appear shorter in length and longer in width, according to 'Engadget'.

Normal commercial airplanes have such significant wings because they need to use that wingspan to gain enough momentum to get off of the ground. While the large wingspan is needed to take off, it creates too much drag for the plane when it reaches supersonic speeds.

As a result, once it reaches the supersonic atmosphere, the plane will then rotate 90 degrees so that it is longer and thinner than when it took off. The new technology pioneered by Dr Gecheng Zha of University of Miami can overcome these problems.

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Photographs: Picture courtesy: Engadget

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IN PICS: The 'Ninja' plane that can rotate in mid-air!

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The school has an animated video of the plane in flight-equipped with the University's logo on the wings- to give a fuller idea of the shift and at what point that would happen during the flight.

'Engadget' reports that the recently-approved award from NASA will allow the Professor and his aides to continue their research and refine it using simulations and wind tunnel testing.

While the funding will give the research an obvious boost, it is still expected to take decades before any form of said plane becomes a reality.


Photographs: Picture courtesy: Engadget

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