What is VTOL?
VTOL stands for Vertical Take Off and Landing. A VTOL aircraft can hover, as well as take off and land vertically. VTOL aircraft include helicopters, tiltrotors, vertical jet-thrust aircraft, electric VTOL, quadcopters and other types.
What is electric VTOL?
An electric VTOL (or eVTOL) aircraft is powered by electric motors powering propellers. The term "electric VTOL" also includes aircraft that use an engine to generate power for the motors, called more specifically, hybrid-electric VTOL.
What makes a helicopter fly?
As a helicopter's rotors turn, they generate lift and suck the air downwards. Helicopters and other types of rotorcraft are unique in that they have rotors, can thrust forwards, backwards and sidewards."
What is the difference between a (helicopter) rotor and a (airplane) propeller?
A helicopter rotor generates both lift and thrust, while an airplane propeller largely generates thrust (the lift is generated by wings).
How does a rotor work?
A rotor is a wing (airfoil) that can generate lift, an upward moving force. This airfoil shape is curved along the top and flatter on the bottom, which makes the air flow faster on top than on the bottom. The lowered pressure on top creates a suction and creates a lifting force. A helicopter moves the air over the rotor by spinning the rotor blade.
Can a helicopter fly upside down?
No. Only toy helicopters can hover upside-down. However, some types of helicopters can perform a loop and briefly be upside-down, but it requires a skillful pilot to even attempt it.
How safe are helicopters?
Helicopters perform thousands of safe flights every day, saving lives, providing fast transportation and serving the public. Helicopters can even safely land if they lose their engine power. The engine powers the rotor, but the spinning rotor blades are responsible for creating lift to keep the helicopter in the air. In the rare event where an engine fails, the helicopter can autorotate like a maple seed — where the rotor is driven solely by the upward flowing air — and land safely.
What is a drone? Is it the same or different as a quadcopter?
A drone is any unmanned aerial vehicle. A quadcopter is a drone propelled by four propellers.