This post is appearing on Autoblog Military, Autoblog's sub-site dedicated to the vehicles, aircraft and ships of the world's armed forces.

Since the earliest days of the airplane, one of its biggest drawbacks was that fixed-wing planes required a big, long runway for takeoffs and landing. This limited their deployability, especially in rugged, difficult terrain. That's why man has been screwing about with fixed-wing vertical takeoff and landing aircraft for well over half a century.

Sploid has put together a video showing all every VTOL aircraft in history. Now, there are a few caveats here. It's limited to craft that have used jet engines, so stuff like the awesome Convair XFY Pogo or even the CV-22 Osprey don't make appearances. But even without propellers, there's some seriously cool aircraft here, though.

The Avro Canada VZ-9 Avrocar is basically a man-made flying saucer-cum-hovercraft and the Snecma Coleoptere looks like a Saturn V paired with the nose of a 1960s jet fighter. These are just some of the more innovative designs, though. The list pays proper attention to more popular VTOL aircraft, like the AV-8B Harrier and F-35B Lightning II, while also touching on modified fixed-wing fighters, like the nifty Dassault Balzac V. Based on a Dassault Mirage III, this thing had eight (eight!) Rolls-Royce engines to provide lift. As insane a concept as the Balzac is, though, it's also managed to kill two test pilots. As Sploid explains, though, this wasn't Dassault's last attempt at a VTOL Mirage.

Check out the entire 11-minute-long video at the top of the page.

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