The actual helicopter wasn't built until 1940 but it is believed that Leonardo da Vinci’s sketches from the late fifteenth century were the predecessor to the modern day flying machine. Also known as the "Helical Air Screw" or simply the "airscrew", the device was designed to compress air to obtain flight – similar to today’s helicopters. Da Vinci was a big proponent of the many possibilities offered by the screw shape, and he used the shape for other inventions and designs as well.
Although "airscrew" is a very old design but it's worth adjusting so that it can fly.
Once I was watching an art documentary, i happened to come across "airscrew". It made me think about how simple flight can be. I decided to change his measurements and use a little physics to make this thing actually fly. The most important part of building an aircraft is sketching it. So that was my goal; sketch "modern Airscrew" and test it. Make it fly!
-What Did You Make?
I redesigned the Da vinci's airscrew and adjust it with respect to aerospace theories and laws and then sketched it with Google Sketchup. So it can Fly and illustrate that flying does not need to be super complicated. it can only be mechanical and this design doesn't use any electricity to fly!
-How Did You Make it?
as shown in the videos, I measured sizes using basic physics theories and then with scale reproduced it with Google Sketchup! and i also used Leonardo Da Vinci 's main sketch.
-Where Did You Make it?
To avoid my parents yelling at me, i brought all of my stuff such as paper and glue and calculator to garage. because every single measurement needed to be tested to make sure it does fly. And the rest which was putting everything together needed a lap top and a table and a good 12 hours !
-What Did You Learn?
not everything that can be very useful needs to be super complicated. helicopter and this vehicle both fly vertically while building a helicopter will take a month but this one only takes a day. The most important factor in inventing useful tools isn't how much calculus and electronic and physic one knows; it's just one's perspective that matters.
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Step 1: Start Building !
first step is to use the right software. I personally like Google Sketchup. First we have to build the stand just as in the sketch. It's the support that makes the flying machine's wings to rotate
after making a cylinder, we need to make little cylinders on sides to attach strings for wind to be able to rotate wings.
Step 2: Build the Base!
base is the next important step. base should be very stable solid for wings to attach to and lift it up. it should not be too heavy or too light. Base includes 3 parts as illustrated in the video but the main part is attachment of support to base.
Step 3: Wings!
wings are the most unique thing about this design. the problem with Da Vinci 's design is that instead of extending inward, wings extend outward. so that the pressure on top of wings are more than bottom while it should be vice versa in order for machine to fly. the wings are designed in a helix-like structure to allow vertical take off like helicopters.
Step 4: Done!
last step is to color it. there are some tips that are critical in ability of this vehicle to fly:
1. distance between each step of wing should be equal
2. area of triangles on the wing that makes the wing stable should be decreasing as we get closer to the tip
3. wings fabric should be very light and flexible for wind to make air pockets
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Make-to-Learn Youth Contest