short takeoff and landing
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short takeoff and landing[′shȯrt ′tāk‚ȯf ən ′land·iŋ]
Short takeoff and landing (STOL)
The term applied to heavier-than-air craft that cannot take off and land vertically, but can operate within areas substantially more confined than those normally required by aircraft of the same size. A pure STOL aircraft is a fixed-wing vehicle that derives lift primarily from free-stream airflow over the wing and its high lift system, sometimes with significant augmentation from the propulsion system. Although all vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) machines, including helicopters, can lift greater loads by developing forward speed on the ground before liftoff, they are still regarded as VTOL (or V/STOL craft), operating in the STOL mode. See Vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL)
It has been customary to define STOL capability in terms of the runway length required to take off or land over a 50-ft (15-m) obstacle, the concept of “short” length being variously defined as from 500 to 2000 ft (150 to 600 m), depending on the high-lift concept employed and on the mission of the aircraft. In addition to being able to operate from short runways, STOL aircraft are usually expected to be able to maneuver in confined airspace so as to minimize the required size of the terminal area. Such aircraft must therefore have unusually good slow-flight stability and control characteristics, especially in turbulence and under instrument flight conditions. See Airplane