VTOL is an acronym for Vertical Take-Off and Landing.
VTOL describes fixed-wing aircraft that can lift off vertically. This classification includes only a very few aircrafts; helicopters, autogyros, balloons and airships are not normally considered VTOL.
Some aircraft can operate in VTOL mode in addition to others, such as CTOL (Conventional Take-off and Landing) and/or STOL (Short Take-Off and Landing). Others can only operate as VTOL, due to the aircraft lacking landing gear that can provide horizontal motion on ground.
These VTOL aircrafts are mainly for use in military service and not for civilian use.
The development of VTOL has been tried by many nations, mainly for military use, with not the required success. It never came in service for civilian use.
The Indian Navy operates Sea Harriers mainly from its aircraft carrier INS Viraat. The United States Marine Corps, and the Italian and Spanish Navies use the AV-8 Harrier II, an advanced derivative of the Harrier.
Aircraft designed to operate in extraterrestrial environments often utilize VTOL. An example of this type of aircraft is the LLRV. Spacecraft typically operate in environments where runways or even a suitably flat surface for skids is nonexistent.
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