ro·​tor·​craft | \ˈrō-tər-ˌkraft \
plural rotorcraft

Definition of rotorcraft 

: an aircraft (such as a helicopter) whose lift is derived principally from rotating airfoils

Examples of rotorcraft in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The primary way to achieve lift with a rotorcraft in thin air is to spin the blades very fast. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "How to Fly a Helicopter on Mars," 15 May 2018 After landing, the rover will deposit its helicopter payload, then retreat to a safe distance while the rotorcraft take off. Washington Post,, "Today in non-terrifying robot news: NASA is sending a helicopter to Mars," 15 May 2018 The project will serve mainly as a test of the technology needed to fly a rotorcraft above a world 140 million miles away. Washington Post,, "Today in non-terrifying robot news: NASA is sending a helicopter to Mars," 15 May 2018 But the potential upsides for NASA are thrilling; a successful mission could pave the way for future rotorcraft to act as scouts and explore parts of Mars that rovers can’t reach. Washington Post,, "Today in non-terrifying robot news: NASA is sending a helicopter to Mars," 15 May 2018 The autopilot is said to feature a recovery mode that allows a pilot to take hands off the controls allowing the aircraft systems to stabilize the rotorcraft in a difficult situation. Gordon Dickson, star-telegram, "Do you wish helicopters were quieter? Check out this new Airbus model | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 16 Mar. 2018 The second possible mission is Dragonfly, an eight-propellor rotorcraft to fly in the thick methane atmosphere of Saturn's largest moon, Titan. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "Falcon Heavy for the Outer Solar System," 2 Mar. 2018 Others are also rushing rotorcraft concepts to market., "Boeing Is Getting Ready to Sell Flying Taxis," 1 Mar. 2018 The U.S. Army and Raytheon marked a milestone yesterday as an Apache helicopter demonstrated the first test firing of a high energy laser system from a military rotorcraft. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Army Just Strapped a Laser to an Apache Helicopter for the First Time," 27 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rotorcraft.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of rotorcraft

1929, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

2 Oct 2018

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The first known use of rotorcraft was in 1929

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