Antitorque rotor – Definition & Meaning

A helicopter is a unique aircraft that uses rotors to generate lift and propulsion. However, one of the challenges that helicopter designers face is the torque effect, which causes the helicopter to spin in the opposite direction of the rotor blades. To counteract this effect, engineers have developed the antitorque rotor. In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of the antitorque rotor, its origin, associations, synonyms, antonyms, and example sentences.


An antitorque rotor is a rotor system that is attached to the tail of a helicopter to counteract the torque effect of the main rotor. It is also known as a tail rotor or a fenestron. The antitorque rotor works by producing a sideways thrust that counteracts the torque generated by the main rotor, allowing the helicopter to maintain its heading and stability during flight.


The concept of the antitorque rotor dates back to the early days of helicopter development. In the 1920s and 1930s, helicopter designers experimented with various methods to counteract the torque effect, including twin rotors, counter-rotating rotors, and tail rotors. The first practical antitorque rotor was developed by the French engineer Jean Bertin in the 1940s. Since then, the antitorque rotor has become a standard feature on most helicopters.

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the antitorque rotor is “a rotor mounted on the tail of a helicopter that counteracts the torque of the main rotor and provides directional control.” The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “a rotor mounted on the tail of a helicopter to provide anti-torque control.”


The antitorque rotor is associated with helicopter design, aviation engineering, and rotorcraft technology. It is also associated with safety, as the antitorque rotor plays a critical role in maintaining the stability and control of the helicopter during flight.


The antitorque rotor is also known as a tail rotor or a fenestron. Other synonyms include anti-torque device, anti-torque system, and anti-torque rotor.


There are no direct antonyms of the antitorque rotor, as it is a unique component of helicopter design. However, some indirect antonyms could include fixed-wing aircraft, jet engines, and other types of aircraft that do not use rotors for lift and propulsion.

The same root words

The root words of antitorque rotor are “anti-” and “torque.” “Anti-” means against or opposing, while “torque” refers to the twisting force that causes rotation. Other words that share the same root words include anti-lock brakes, anti-roll bars, anti-vibration mounts, and torque converters.

Example Sentences

  1. The antitorque rotor is a critical component of helicopter design, providing stability and control during flight.
  2. The fenestron is a type of antitorque rotor that is enclosed in a duct for improved efficiency and reduced noise.
  3. The tail rotor of a helicopter is an example of an antitorque rotor, providing directional control by countering the torque of the main rotor.
  4. The pilot used the antitorque pedals to adjust the thrust of the tail rotor and maintain the helicopter’s heading.
  5. The antitorque system on the helicopter malfunctioned, causing the aircraft to spin out of control.
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