The aim of this presentation is to provide a survey of civilian VTOL activities in the United States. However, because of space limitations, attention can be focused on only a few topics. Nevertheless, it is believed that a representative picture of technical and organisational activities, current and future trends, and problems is presented.
The unique capability of vertical-lift systems (permitting take-offs and landings from restricted areas) generates a special market for these aircraft, because the needs of carrying both people and goods cannot be fulfilled equally well by other modes of transport. In this respect, the helicopter, which at present is the only operational VTOL concept, has demonstrated that a demand for its services, especially in such fields as offshore oil rig support, business flying, crane operations, etc, generates its own momentum of spontaneous growth, which should become quite visible from this presentation.