Eyes haven’t on convertiplanes in aviation. They are less well known. But they have an unusual design. Explore our article on convertiplanes, which is known in British aviation as a Rotodyne.

What is convertiplane?

Convertiplane is an aircraft of unusual design, a combination of a helicopter and a conventional plane with wings. 

Designed to land and take off vertically from a small field or platform as well as unprepared ground, it utilizes the thrust of engines for forward speeds that are far in excess of those possible with the helicopter.

Convertiplanes are equipped with whirling rotor blades, which often have pressure-jet pods on each blade tip. These give a vertical lift for take-off to the desired height, after which the craft converts to the use of engine power to deliver horizontal speed.

Landing is accomplished by reverting back to helicopter flight as the forward-thrust engines are throttled and the rotors are engaged, allowing the blades to lower the craft vertically to the ground. Experimental convertiplanes seemed to give promise of considerable success, but were disappointing, due to the complexities of shifting power at a critical transitional stage and the risk of causing the craft to “‘stall” at dangerously low altitudes. The convertiplane is referred to in British aviation circles as a Rotodyne.

Examples of convertiplanes

  • V-22 (Osprey)
  • Bell XV-3
  • Bell V-280 Valor

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