VTOL refers to an aircraft capable of Vertical Take-Off and Landing. In 1928, Serb-American inventor Nikola Tesla received a patent for creating a new aerial transport, which was the first ever concept for a VTOL aircraft; however, further development was put on hold until 1935, when President Roosevelt's WPA demanded a new, nimble aircraft with a high payload capacity. This led to the development of the UH-17 Atlas, based on Tesla's blueprints. However, the UH-17 was originally plagued by a number of incidents blamed on poorly-loaded cargoes, but actually caused by the VTOL descending into its own rotor wash; this problem was not properly fixed until 1937. The success of the UH-17 led to the later development of the U.S. Army U/AV-17 Hawk, and the British Army P-1117 Kingfisher, two successful VTOL transports in use by 1951.
- VTOL on Wikipedia.