Vertipedia is a product of the Vertical Flight Society. With data on 867 aircraft, 620 historical milestones, 561 people, and 395 organizations, Vertipedia is your "one-stop shop" for all things vertical lift.

2017 - First flight of the Harbin Z-19E

Our latest featured aircraft for May 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

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Gyrodynes versus compound/hybrid helicopters

A gyrodyne is strictly a rotorcraft that can be powered for take-off and landing with the rotor disk being level to the flight path in cruising flight, which is  similar to how a compound/hybrid helicopter works (differences are primarily in the rotor disk angle in cruise) . To avoid difficulties for users in classifying the two types, Gyrodynes are classed as compound helicopters (with thrust compounding, possibly lift compounding) in Vertipedia.

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.

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