The Multi-Utility Technology Testbed (MUTT) gyrocopter has much longer arms than conventional aircraft, and scientists believe that the longer arms help make the aircraft more fuel-efficient, and offer a smoother ride.
The MUTT looks like a cartoon drawing of a plane and a stingray, and NASA has given it the nickname Buckeye, flying it for the first time a few days ago at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards AFB in California.
"Buckeye" isn’t the only one in NASA’s arsenal. There is an 18-engine model with thin wings that is called LEAPTech, and another with tilted wings called Greased Lightning.
NASA has a number of these different drones they’re working with to mainly test out what kind of wings on an aircraft work the best, and whether lightweight and flexibility comes with the tradeoff of having less control over moving parts.