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Vertical Take-Off and Landing | VTOL

This term refers to any fixed-wing aircraft that, in short, does not require a runway. In order for a fixed-wing aircraft to achieve this, it demands an incredible amount of power and stability.

VTOL is short for Vertical Take-Off and Landing. This term refers to any fixed-wing aircraft that, in short, does not require a runway. In order for a fixed-wing aircraft to achieve this, it demands an incredible amount of power and stability.

This technology has been primarily the domain of military aircraft for decades; an aircraft with the ability to take off and land without a runway has obvious battlefield advantages. Though helicopters have this ability, they lack the performance of fixed-wing aircraft.

The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey and the Harrier jump jet are two successful military applications of distinct VTOL technologies. The Osprey, designed by Bell and Boeing for the U.S. military, is a large aircraft with a substantial fuselage. It employs tiltrotors - wing-mounted fan blades which can be tilted upward for takeoff, then directed forward for horizontal flight. The Harrier Jump Jet, designed by Boeing/BAE for the British military, uses a powerful thrust jet mounted on the craft's underside.

VTOL capability would be essential for a successful flying car. A car that would require a runway for takeoff would be, practically speaking, an airplane.

Flying cars in various stages of development include:

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