Roto-copters

Introduction: Roto-copters

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There are a lot of forces working together to make a bird, aeroplane, or helicopter fly. Making and testing a simple paper vehicle called a Roto-copter will help you experiment and learn the principles of flight.

Vocabulary:

The principals of flight are the forces of lift, weight, thrust, and drag that work to keep a flying object in the air.

Lift: The lift force acts upward against weight and is caused by moving air passing over and under wings.

Weight: The weight force is the gravitational force that pulls everything toward the Earth. This is a downward force.

Thrust: The thrust is the force that moves an object forward and can be provided by a power like plane engines or bird muscles.

Drag: Drag opposes thrust and is caused by air resistance that acts in the opposite direction to the motion.

Supplies

  • Printout of PDF
  • Scissors
  • Tape

Step 1: Download and Print PDF of Roto-copters

Step 2: Cut Along the Solid Lines. the Dotted Lines Are for Folding.

Step 3: Fold a Toward You and B Away From You.

Step 4: Fold C and D So They Overlap.

Step 5: Fold the Bottom Tab, and You May Put a Small Piece of Tape in Place If You Wish.

Step 6: Drop Your Roto-copter From a Height and Observe. If It Does Not Move Like a Roto-copter, Adjust Blades a and B Until You Get the Results You Want.

Explanation:

When the roto-copter falls, air pushes up against the blades, bending them up a little. When air pushes upward on the slanted blade, some of that thrust becomes a sideways push. Each blade is getting the same push, but in opposite directions. The two opposing thrusts work together to make the roto-copter spin. Thrust is one of the main principles of flight and in this case is generated by propeller, which flaps A and B become.

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