Short takeoff and landing (STOL)
Nelms, W. P. Aircraft Technology Division, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California.
Last reviewed:January 2020
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The term applied to heavier-than-air craft that cannot take off and land vertically but can operate within areas substantially more confined than those normally required by aircraft of the same size. A pure STOL aircraft is a fixed-wing vehicle that derives lift primarily from free-stream airflow over the wing and its high lift system, sometimes with significant augmentation from the propulsion system. Although all vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) machines, including helicopters, can lift greater loads by developing forward speed on the ground before liftoff, they are still regarded as VTOL (or V/STOL craft), operating in the STOL mode. See also: Vertical/short takeoff and landing (V/STOL)
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