A vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft is one that can hover, take off, and land vertically.
This classification can include a variety of types of aircraft including fixed-wing aircraft as well as helicopters and other aircraft with powered rotors, such as cyclogyros/cyclo copters and tilt-rotors.
Some VTOL aircraft can operate in other modes as well, such as CTOL (conventional take-off and landing), STOL (short take-off and landing), and/or STOVL (short take-off and vertical landing).
Others, such as some helicopters, can only operate by VTOL, due to the aircraft lacking landing gear that can handle horizontal motion. VTOL is a subset of V/STOL (vertical and/or short take-off and landing).
RAF Harrier Crash – Lowestoft Air Festival 2002
Footage of the famous RAF Harrier GR-7 crash during the second day of the 2002 Lowestoft Air Festival.
The good news was the pilot ejected safely (but breaking his ankle when unfortunately landing on his crashed plane) and the £35m jet was recovered six days later, also shown on the video.
YAK-41 Crashes On Carrier landing Test
The Yak-41 is a supersonic V/STOL (Vertical/Short Take-Off and Landing) naval fighter. Although it never entered operational service, some of its advanced technology will see the application on Lockheed-Martin’s F-35 fighter.
Lockheed XV-4 Hummingbird Test Flight Crash
The Lockheed XV-4 Hummingbird (originally designated VZ-10) was a U.S. Army project to demonstrate the feasibility of using VTOL for a surveillance aircraft carrying target-acquisition and sensory equipment.
It was designed and built by the Lockheed Corporation in the 1960s, one of many attempts to produce a V/STOL vertical takeoff/landing jet. Both prototype aircraft were destroyed in accidents.
Yak-38 Crashes On Takeoff