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STOVL is an acronym for Short Take Off and Vertical Landing.

It refers to aircraft able to take off from a short runway, and land vertically (i.e. with no runway). The most famous example is probably the Hawker Harrier Jump Jet, which though technically a VTOL aircraft, is operationally a STOVL aircraft due to the extra weight it carries at take off for fuel and armaments. Ditto for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which demonstrated VTOL capability in test flights but is operationally STOVL.

Other examples include:

None of these has reached operational status, though the JSF is expected to enter service by 2010.

See also