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LINK TO —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:33, 23 March 2009 (UTC)


can the f-35b actually perform a vertical take off?

Reply: Yes, for further information check —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:38, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Only aircraft ??[edit]

The term VTVL redirects here, and its commonly used for rocket powered vehicles. There are/have been several of them around, DC-X, Japanese RVT, Armadillo Aerospace platforms, Masten Space, TVG Rockets, Blue Origin, the list goes on.

Once again, VTVL should not redirect here. The entire Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander challenge deals with VTVL rocketcraft and its not mentioned here, and nor has any business of being here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Savuporo (talkcontribs) 21:10, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

In the absence of a convincing reference for that, you have not a leg to stand on.- (User) Wolfkeeper (Talk) 03:45, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
O rly ? Want to doublecheck that ? Savuporo (talk) 05:50, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

Reason for move[edit]

I moved this to match the other four in the series. They were all listed by acronym. -Joseph 21:07, 2004 Sep 6 (UTC)

I moved it back after someone did a revert on the name. Everyone knows it under the name "VTOL," it matches the series, and there are 52,700 hits for "VTOL" and only 7,000 for "Vertical Take-off and Landing." Also, most of the Wiki links point to the acronym. -Joseph 15:56, 2004 Sep 9 (UTC)
It is completely normal for the acronym to have more links than the full title. Just also CIA: 84 million ghits, Central Intelligence Agency: less than 2 million ghits. But in an encyclopedia the header must be by the full title. I suggest "Vertical Take-off and Landing" as the article's name and VTOL as the redirect. The same for ALL similar cases. -- Magioladitis 10:28, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia's naming conventions for abbreviations do allow acronyms to be used as article titles in certain cases, usually when the acronym is pronounced as a word. NASA is just one example. Since VTOL is usually pronounced Vee-tol, it should be allowable. - BillCJ 10:43, 2 December 2007 (UTC)


If the X-Wing takes off in the manner of a helicopter, and helicopters are not considered to use "VTOL", then is it valid to suggest that the X-Wing does?--Jeffro77 23:36, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Yes, because once it has taken off, it flies using wings, like an aeroplane. The Osprey takes off like a helicopter too. Joffeloff 21:49, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

VTOL != rotorcraft?[edit]

I'm not at all sure that this is true. Does anyone have a clear citation for that?WolfKeeper 12:48, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

I'd like a citation for that as well. From what I understand, helicopters ARE considered VTOL's. Malamockq 07:22, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

According to NATO's defenition of an VTOL aircraft(A Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing aircraft (aéronef à décollage court et atterrissage vertical) is a fixed-wing aircraft capable of clearing a 15 m (50 ft) obstacle within 450 m (1500 ft) of commencing take-off run, and capable of landing vertically), not all rotorcraft, such as autogyros are able to comply to NATO's defention.Dutchy 14:34, 27 November 2007 (GMT+1) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

If that's the definition, then rotary-wing aircraft cannot be considered VTOL, because the definition specifies "fixed-wing aircraft". Which seems pretty wacky to me, but governing bodies have all sorts of goofy rules. EvilCouch (talk) 10:54, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
That's one datapoint, but Britannica seems to consider that rotorcraft count as VTOL airplane [1]- (User) WolfKeeper (Talk) 22:24, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Hutchinson encyclopedia also seems to say that rotorcraft and lighter than air count: [2]- (User) WolfKeeper (Talk) 22:36, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Wisegeek seems to say no.[3]. While these are not good enough references to add to the article it does show that there's a range of opinions on this. If truly there is disagreement then it should be in the article.- (User) WolfKeeper (Talk) 22:39, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Farlex says yes.[4].- (User) WolfKeeper (Talk) 22:54, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

I still want a reference to that though.- (User) WolfKeeper (Talk) 22:25, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Please, re-read the definition above, it says "A Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing aircraft" -- that is STOVL not VTOL! This is not the right definition.

VTOL absolutely includes helicopters and other powered rotorcraft (not autogyros). In fact, the American Helicopter Society's website is Their bylaws state: “The purpose of the Society is to engage in educational and scientific activities to advance the theory and practices of the science of helicopter and other aircraft in the area of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) and similar devices, including not only these categories of aircraft in existence but those to be developed.” -- AHS Bylaws, May 1976

This is backed up in these references:

1. "The first VTOL aircraft type we come to using this procedure is, appropriately, the helicopter, which is the forerunner of all other VTOL types."
-- pg. 4, "Vertical Takeoff & Landing Aircraft," John P. Campbell, The MacMillan Company, New York, 1962. From the flyleaf: "'Vertical Takeoff and Landing Aircraft'" is the first book to cover the rapidly developing field of VTOL aircraft from the helicopter to the GEM (ground effect machine."

2. "[A power loading graph] is also very useful when comparing different types of VTOL aircraft. The board categories: rotorcraft, platforms, propeller craft jetfans, augmented jets, fanjets, and jets may be compared in terms of disc loading, power requirement, and down draught velocity."
-- pg. 28, "VTOL – Military Research Aircraft," Mike Rogers, Orion Books, New York, 1989.

3. "The categories are VTOL with rotors (commonly referred to as helicopters), VTOL with propellers, fans, jets, and wings (often referred to as compound aircraft), and VTOL with jets (often referred to as rotorless aircraft)."
-- pg. 3, "Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) Aircraft," edited by I.B. Laskowitz, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Vol 107, Art.1, March 25, 1963.

4. "With many types of VTOL concepts, there are very fine differences between the different techniques. There will be no discussion of the pure helicopter-type of VTOL [in this book], but its first cousin, the Compound (or Unloaded-Rotor Convertiplane) will be discussed in this chapter."
-- pg. 11, "Straight Up - A History of Vertical Flight," Steve Markman and Bill Holder, Schiffer Publishing, 2000.

Note that the rest of this article is currently all over the map with references to the fanciful Lerche, Moller skycar, etc. Not clear why the CL-84 is singled out here. This whole article should be redone. --Vertiflite (talk) 01:24, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, that's not adequate at all. Gyrocopters ARE rotorcraft. And are "including not only these categories of aircraft in existence but those to be developed.” in other words they include just about everything there will ever be.- (User) Wolfkeeper (Talk) 03:42, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

skycar scam[edit]

The little paragraph on the Moller skycar should be removed since it was never more than an investment scam. Or one could add that it was a VTOL based scam.

Heli-Jet article[edit]

Here's the main content from the Heli-Jet article.

A Heli-Jet is a word to describe an aircraft with the same capabilities as a Helicopter but is powered by Turbofan type engines. Some 'Heli-Jet' examples exist such as the Doak VZ-4, Moller Skycar and the AVCEN Jetpod.

This is not an accepted term. I'm going to make that article redirect to VTOL. It might be worth mentioning the personal type Skycar and Jetpod here. -Fnlayson 17:43, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Concur. - BillCJ 18:41, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

Merge discussion[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Old discussion which should have been closed after 1 or 2 weeks. No concensus atfer 6 months. - BillCJ (talk) 05:59, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

These articles are both short and in need of work. As they cover similar areas, they should be merged for now until they can be improved. This reduces duplication of the good bits and beefs up the existing content. Chris Cunningham 16:33, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

I agree. Vertical lift aircraft should also be merged here. Carl M. Anglesea (talk) 11:14, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Two differnt, though overlapping concepts. - BillCJ (talk) 05:59, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

VTVL again[edit]

Please, once more, anyone care to remove the VTVL redirect to this page ? VTVL is often used in rocketry referring to craft like DC-X, Northrop Grumman lunar lander challenge contestants. It has nothing to do with aircraft.Savuporo (talk) 12:20, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Well, why don't you do it yourself? But you better come up with a good solution where to redirect to — or create a new article. Lars T. (talk) 17:28, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
The thing is, the article is not defining a term, it's about the underlying concept. Both VTOL and VTVL are about vertical takeoff and landing. VTOL usually is only applied to aircraft, particularly fixed wing aircraft; but otherwise they mean the same thing.- (User) Wolfkeeper (Talk) 11:48, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
VTOL and VTVL are synonymous terms. Under the rules of WP:Wikipedia is not a dictionary that means they get merged into one article.- (User) Wolfkeeper (Talk) 12:18, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Merge to powered lift?[edit]

There doesn't seem to be enough difference between VTOL and powered lift. The same article could cover both definitions without breathing hard. They're synonymous terms.- (User) Wolfkeeper (Talk) 00:48, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

in popular culture?[edit]

should there be some mention of VTOLs in popular culture? the first work of fiction that comes to mind is Code Geass, but i know that some other VTOLs also appeared in james cameron's avatar. thoughts, anyone? (talk) 06:15, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

If it could be treated in an inclusive, broad and analytical manner without deterioating into a list of appearances of VTOL aircraft in fiction etc, that would be a good idea. But I suspect its not possible. You might find going back to the 50s or further to get a feel for their first appearances. GraemeLeggett (talk) 09:04, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

Merge from VTVL[edit]

Based on the discussion on the VTVL talk page, I think we should merge the VTVL article into this one. The only difference between the two articles appears to be that VTOL is used for aircraft and VTVL is used for spacecraft. But the concept is the same, so we should only have one article. Mlm42 (talk) 17:25, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

My thinking is that it would be difficult to impose the more common rocket-related terminology (VTVL, VTHL, HTHL, etc.) on the aircraft wikicommunity, where they have an extensively-developed set of separate articles using distinctly different acronyms (VTOL, STOL, HTOL, etc.) that have a long history in aviation related literature. Furthermore, the more common space-related terminology is well documented and widely used in that community. So while I do hope the space-side folks don't go so far as to create a new separate article for each term (VTVL, VTHL, HTHL, etc.) to match the aviation-side practice on Wikipedia, I don't believe the space-literature terminology should be conflated with the aviation-centric terminology. Thus, I oppose the merge. N2e (talk) 18:11, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
An analogy is that the article cosmonaut redirects to astronaut. Just because there is different terminology doesn't mean we need to keep their articles separate. Mlm42 (talk) 18:24, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
Despite best efforts by Mlm42 to have the discussion occur here on this page, the active discussion seems to be taking place over at Talk:VTVL#merge_to_VTOL. Please weigh in if you have an opinion. N2e (talk) 00:21, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

Classification of VTOL aircraft[edit]

The various articles on various types seem inconsistent and/or incorrect in the way they classify VTOL types. I'd like to bring them all into line. here is my current best shot at a classification:

J indicates jet lift, (J) indicates lift may be jet or rotor/prop.
"Powered-lift means a heavier-than-air aircraft capable of vertical takeoff, vertical landing, and low speed flight that depends principally on engine-driven lift devices or engine thrust for lift during these flight regimes and on nonrotating airfoil(s) for lift during horizontal flight." (from said article)
"[a convertiplane] uses rotor power for vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) and converts to fixed-wing lift in normal flight." (from said article)
'"A compound rotorcraft has both rotary and fixed wings (although in the USA, the term "compound rotorcraft" officially refers to a mixed powerplant system)" (From Powered Lift article) - I think the claimed use is untenable and the "USA" definition is universal, the article's usage certainly not referenced. Or, is there a verifiable difference between a "compound rotorcraft" and a "compound helicopter"? For example "compound helicopter" is used to describe the Sikorsky S-69 and Eurocopter X3.
I find "tail-sitter" in 3 references but not "tailsitter".
According to one reference I have, aerostats count as VTOL craft.
I have distinguished "vertical launch", for example the Bachem Natter and North American X-10, from "VTO", i.e. it is a separate class from VTOL,V/STOL,etc.

Any comments? — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 18:31, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

I would endorse all of that. It's a clear, straightforward description of the various options. IMO, "tailsitter" is more a matter of taste, so if somebody wanted to move it, I, for one, wouldn't beef. I do foresee some rv's over the Natter or X-10, but IMO nothing that can't be handled. Well done. :) TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 22:53, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
I agree, it looks correct to me. - Ahunt (talk) 12:59, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

And one more question, is a cyclogyro/Cyclocopter a form of "rotorcraft" because it uses Cycloidal Rotors? I have classified it as separate but am now wondering if that is wrong. The rotorcraft article states, "A cyclocopter is a rotorcraft whose rotors are also driven by the engine throughout the flight, but the blades rotate about the horizontal axis..." Here is the modified tree:

Better? — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 16:06, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

IMHO a cyclogyro (and geez, I'd never heard of that before) is not a rotorcraft. It's a...very bizzare form of conventional wing, but a conventional wing it is, at least in my view. - The Bushranger One ping only 18:14, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
Yoiks. I've never heard of it either, & if it actually flies, it would surprise the hell out of me. ;p I'd also rate it not a rotorcraft...but I can see the arguments for it, so I wouldn't fight it, either. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 19:10, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
Do aerostats/lighter than air craft really belong in the list? GraemeLeggett (talk) 21:34, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

There are several questions arising. I'll break them out into subtopics (below) before this conversation gets too tangled. As ever, an editor's opinion means little if it cannot be backed up by reliable referencing. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 09:16, 23 October 2013 (UTC)


Is there a difference between a compound rotorcraft and a compound helicopter? We currently treat Compound helicopter = Gyrodyne, for which I can find several references, and Compound rotorcraft = Convertiplane, for which I can find no reference. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 09:16, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

OK, I will assume there is no difference and correct the appropriate articles accordingly. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 22:14, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

Tail-sitter or tailsitter[edit]

I have now found several published references for "tail-sitter" which meet WP:VERIFY, none for "tailsitter". The opinion has been expresses that the two forms are interchangeable. Does anybody have any evidence to support that PoV? — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 09:16, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

OK, I will go with the references I do have, which are unanimous, and move the article to Tail-sitter — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 22:14, 27 October 2013 (UTC)


A cyclogyro or cyclocopter has a horizontal-axis rotary wing or rotor. A conventional vertical-axis rotor is described as a rotary wing, and both forms of craft obtain lift from the spinning action of the rotary wing. In common language, that would suggest the descriptor "rotorcraft" for both types. Or, is "rotorcraft" somewhere defined as specifically a vertical-axis rotary wing? Indeed, is "rotorcraft" authoritatively defined anywhere? — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 09:16, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Its an interesting concept. And here's my take. In a helicopter, the lifting surface is rotating in complete circles about perpendicular axis. In a cyclogyro, the individual lifting surface (as opposed to the structure that encompasses them) is not rotating so much as changing its angle of incidence while undergoing horizontal and vertical translation. GraemeLeggett (talk) 11:47, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
The individual surfaces still form a rotor, so as far as WP:COMMONSENSE is concerned that makes it a rotorcraft, unless someone can find adequate referencers to the opposite effect. (As a pareallel, consider for example the mechanical differences between the centrifugal and axial compressors for a jet engine - they are both still jet engines.) — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 22:14, 27 October 2013 (UTC)


Are balloons and airships VTOL craft? I have one book which says they are, but it is not sufficiently authoritative on its own - Sampson, H. (1960); The dumpy pocket book of aircraft and flight, Sampson Low, Page 164. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 09:16, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

It's in the nature of a lighter than air craft to be "take off" vertically and I don't think the average reader will expect to see it classified as such. I think it's one where there will need to be sources to specifically show the usage as a subset of VTOL. GraemeLeggett (talk) 11:35, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
It is also in the nature of the helicopter, and we classify that. I have one reference, maybe that's better than no references? — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 12:35, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
I would say that balloons and Aerostats could not technically be considered VTOL crafts. The reason I say this is because they don't go straight up or straight down when being "launched" or "recovered" and, at least with Aerostats, they cannot "land" themselves but are pulled down with a tether to a "moored" position on their platform.—  VoiceOfreasonVoiceOfreason   18:24, 2 December 2014 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by VoiceOfreason (talkcontribs)

Vertical launch[edit]

is vertical launch a mode of vertical takeoff? Can it be sometimes, i.e. is there a dividing line or an overlap between these classes? A typical vertical launch is a one-off assisted event, often requiring a pad, support rail/tower, a large first-stage booster, etc. For example the Space shuttle lands conventionally but is "launched". On the other hand a takeoff may use rocket-assisted takeoff gear (RATOG). As the assistance gets whittled away and the ascent becomes repeatable, at what point does it cease to "lift off" and/or instead "take off"? — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 09:16, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Hi Steelpillow and aviation WikiProject folks. Thought I would just weigh in here that, inside the domain of spaceflight, the term of art that has emerged in the industry is VTVL. That has been rather established for some time. I totally get that, within aviation, the term of art that came into being is VTOL. Just thought I would let you and other editors know, in the event you were not aware.
Moreover, there is now in recent years an increasing overlap between atmospheric aviation, and spaceflight (which of course has a critically important atmospheric phase to each launch). For example, in the past, rockets and boosters generally did not have landing gear, but now one company is adding landing gear to their VTVL orbital booster and will be making an initial attempt at bringing an orbital booster rocket back for a land landing in early 2014. I have just now begun a discussion, and notified WikiProject Aviation folk with a notice posted at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Aircraft#Landing_gear_on_space_launch_vehicles—so if interested, please feel free to look into it and comment. (I'm a bit confused as to your WikiProjects: Aviation? or Aircraft? I hope the Aircraft WikiProject was the right place for me to post.) Cheers. N2e (talk) 03:00, 27 October 2013 (UTC)