Vertipedia is a product of the Vertical Flight Society. With data on 861 aircraft, 613 historical milestones, 474 people, and 393 organizations, Vertipedia is your "one-stop shop" for all things vertical lift.

1928 - First crossing of the English Channel by a rotorcraft (Cierva C.8L-II)

1972 - First flight of the Dornier Aerodyne E1 UAV

Our latest featured aircraft for September is the Cierva W.11 Air Horse .


The aircraft was designed to provide viable heavy load lifting capability for commercial operations. It employed 3 main rotors all rotating in the same direction. Torque offset was provided by thrust components from the 3 rotors through built-in shaft tilt. The aircraft had a semi-monoquoque structure, a single engine, and a long-stroke undercarriage (5ft) to cope with high rates of descent.  A description of the aircraft and its characteristics can be found in the following references,

Source: "The Cierva W-11 Air Horse", J. Gordon Leishman, VERTIFLITE Spring 2003, Page 52

Source: "Discussing the Helicopter", FLIGHT Staff, FLIGHT, December 2nd 1948, Pages 665-668

Learn more...

Vertipedia notes are brief descriptions of how and why Vertipedia works the way it does. Check back often for the latest note, or view the complete list.

Aircraft images

Images for aircraft appear in two sub-sections on an Aircraft page,
- Related VFS Resources
- Images
Although some of the images are repeated, the two sections serve different purposes. The first section aims to capture any image related to the aircraft, which could be aircraft, people, events, etc. The latter section only includes images selected specifically to highlight features of the aircraft.

Vertipedia makes it easy for you to find a range of information on vertical flight, including:

  • Targeted searches of documents provided by the Vertical Flight Society, as well as public sources from across the internet
  • Important milestones that have helped shape the history of vertical flight
  • People who have played a role in vertical flight
  • Vertical flight aircraft, such as helicopters, tilt rotors and tilt wings, jet-lift VTOL, and more.

Select a module below to get started!