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Helicopter Accuracy Competition


Activity Name: Helicopter Accuracy Competition

Field of Study: Aeronautics

Grade Level: 8th through 11h

Time Required: Approximately 3 hours


Description: Igor Sikorsky designed the first successful helicopter in the late 1930s. His inspiration came from drawings of an aircraft with a spinning wing, drawn by Leonardo da Vinci nearly five hundred years before. This activity help students learn the basic flight principles of a helicopter and test it out, plus have a friendly competition with family members.

Skills to be Used: Observation, Inference, Aeronautics skills

Materials: A4 Paper, Paper clip, Scissors, helicopter template (download here )​


1. Print out the helicopter template and cut it out along the lines. Cut along the dashed line labeled "cut here" as well.
2. Fold along the lines where it says to fold.
3. Fold up the bottom tip of the helicopter about 1" and place the paper clip over it to hold it in place. Now your helicopter is ready to fly!
4.To let the helicopter fly, hold it up above his head as high possible.
5. Drop it and watch it fall. What happened?
6. To make a competition to test the accuracy, have other family members make a helicopter. Use a marker to draw a 1-foot circle on a piece of newspaper. Put a cereal bowl in the middle of the circle. The circle is the target area and the bowl is the bull's-eye. Take turns standing on a chair at the edge of the newspaper and dropping the helicopter.
7. Do some investigation online to answer these questions;
a.How is Bernoulli’s principle applied to helicopters?
b.What are the basic concepts of flight for helicopters?
c.How can the helicopter be revised to be more accurate?
d.How can the helicopter be revised to stay in the air longer?
8.(For school or family use. Acknowledgement to

Skill Source : Mark W. Oleksak, PhD