American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. An airplane built to fly vertically as well as forward.
“By the end of World War II, with jets zooming through the sky at hundreds of miles an hour but helicopters barely breaking 100, the dream of the convertiplane began to entice more than just starry-eyed inventors such as Gerard Herrick.”
“The power of such engines was also leading more and more engineers and military officers to take the old convertiplane dream seriously for the first time.”
“In a foreword to the published proceedings of the conference—written before detailed histories of Nazi Germany lent the phrase he used the jarring ring it has today—Wilford gushed that the convertiplane would be “the final solution of useful flight for humanity.””
“It was a fairly elegant solution to a central problem for convertiplane designers: how to equip an aircraft with two forms of lift and thrust—one each for vertical and horizontal flight—yet avoid loading it down with two sets of machinery that would add impossible amounts of weight and aerodynamic drag.”
“Within two years, Lichten left for Bell, where helicopter inventor Art Young had been intrigued by the convertiplane idea for some time.”
“During the event, test pilot James G. Ray—the same James G. Ray who later envisioned a convertiplane in every garage—landed an Autogiro on the White House lawn and took off in it again.”
“At the First Convertible Aircraft Congress in Philadelphia in 1949, the year after he joined Bell, Lichten showed a film made in the early 1940s of Young flying a crude model convertiplane with a single tilting rotor on a wing.”
“Burke Wilford, the gyroplane developer who had organized the 1938 Rotating Wing Aircraft Meeting, was now committed to the quest for the convertiplane himself.”
“Merrill Lambert became the first man to die trying to make a convertiplane work.”
“Excited by the prospect, visionaries from the competing rotary wing tribes—Autogiro, helicopter, and convertiplane—gathered to debate how it should be spent.”
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