from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An aircraft, especially a helicopter, that is kept partially or completely airborne by airfoils rotating around a vertical axis.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any aircraft that obtains its lift from rotors.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Here's a video of the test run for the small, 15 ft version of this 'rotorcraft':


  • Mom I am about to be arrested, it is illegal to use rotorcraft to transport hunters in Alaska.

    Caption Contest: Write the Best, Win a Pair of Korkers Wading Boots

  • When a rotorcraft takes off straight up or hovers, it has to produce a pound of thrust for every pound it weighs, plus enough to compensate for whatever portion of its rotor downwash pushes down on the fuselage and other parts of the machine.

    The Dream Machine

  • Dodge and the other Marines in the MOTT are also assigned to HMX-1, the eighty-pilot special squadron that flies the president and other government VIPs in helicopters and tests new rotorcraft for the Marines.

    The Dream Machine

  • One way to determine how much horsepower will be needed in a rotorcraft is to calculate its “disk loading.”

    The Dream Machine

  • Like a lot of helicopter pilots, Rivolo thought the ability to autorotate was a vital safety feature for a rotorcraft going into combat.

    The Dream Machine

  • The combined rate of descent and speed at which any particular rotorcraft might go into vortex ring state depends on various factors—the size and shape of its rotors, its flying weight, wind conditions, etc.

    The Dream Machine

  • Dunn told its recipients the report had been written by a group of veteran combat helicopter pilots, test pilots, and rotorcraft engineers.

    The Dream Machine

  • He also told the NASA panel there were other ways a rotorcraft could get into vortex ring state.

    The Dream Machine

  • In a rotorcraft, adding power also adds pitch to the rotor blades, increasing the angle at which they hit the air.

    The Dream Machine


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