vertical takeoff and landing aircraft


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vertical takeoff and landing aircraft

(VTOL), craft capable of rising and descending vertically from and to the ground, thus requiring no runway. While a balloonballoon,
lighter-than-air craft without a propulsion system, lifted by inflation of one or more containers with a gas lighter than air or with heated air. During flight, altitude may be gained by discarding ballast (e.g.
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 or an airshipairship,
an aircraft that consists of a cigar-shaped gas bag, or envelope, filled with a lighter-than-air gas to provide lift, a propulsion system, a steering mechanism, and a gondola accommodating passengers, crew, and cargo.
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 has obvious VTOL capability, both are very inefficient at moving parallel to the earth's surface. The autogiroautogiro
or gyroplane
, type of aircraft supported in the air by a horizontally mounted airfoil similar to that of a helicopter but unpowered. Invented by the Spaniard Juan de la Cierva, it was first flown successfully in Jan., 1923, in Spain.
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 and the helicopterhelicopter,
type of aircraft in which lift is obtained by means of one or more power-driven horizontal propellers called rotors. When the rotor of a helicopter turns it produces reaction torque which tends to make the craft spin also.
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 offer some improvement in this respect, but still have very limited performance. A large number of VTOL designs have been produced and tried. The pogo-stick, or tail-sitting, type was similar in appearance to a conventional airplane except for a special tail on which it took off and landed. This type was abandoned, partly because of the difficulty in maintaining fine control when its fuselage was positioned vertically, e.g., during a landing. Convertiplanes are VTOL craft that can fly horizontally with the same effectiveness as a conventional airplane. Some convertiplanes are conventional-looking aircraft that can tilt their rotors, or oversize propellors, so that the rotors' axes are vertical during takeoff and landing and are horizontal during forward flight. The best-known such tilt-rotor aircraft is the V-22 Osprey, which first flew in 1989. The Harrier is a jet fighter convertiplane that uses vanes to direct the thrust of its engine upward or forward and is capable of flight at approximately the speed of sound; it proved its ability to control a battlefield despite the absence of airports and runways during the 1982 Falklands conflict.
References in periodicals archive ?
Twelve Osprey vertical takeoff and landing aircraft were unloaded from a civilian transport ship at the Marine Corps' Iwakuni base in Yamaguchi Prefecture in late July.
Moller International was founded in 1983 as a spin-off of Moller Corporation to continue to design, develop, manufacture and market personal vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (VTOL) that are as safe, efficient, affordable and easy-to-use as automobiles.
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