Wednesday, January 28, 2009


A rotorcraft is a heavier-than-air flying machine that uses lift generated by wings, called rotor blades that revolve around a mast. Several rotor blades mounted to a single mast is referred to as a rotor. Rotorcraft may also include the use of static lifting surfaces, but the primary distinguishing feature being lift provided by one or more rotors. Rotorcraft includes helicopters, auto gyros, gyro dynes and tilt rotors. In the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration places helicopters, auto gyros (which it calls gyroplanes), and gyro dynes in the category Rotorcraft, and tilt rotors in the category Powered lift.

A helicopter is a rotorcraft whose rotors are driven by the engine(s) throughout the flight, to allow the helicopter to take off vertically, hover, fly forwards, backwards and laterally, as well as to land vertically. Helicopters have several different configurations of one or more main rotors.

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