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Helicopter Experiment Essay

Prediction: As the mass on the helicopter’s copters increases, the speed taken for the rotors to spin down faster, this is because there will be more downward pull from gravity, as the terminal velocity for a paper helicopter is low.

Variables: Independent variable will be the mass that we change throughout the experiment. The dependant variable will be the time that we measure for the helicopter to reach the floor. Finally the controlled variables include, the helicopter itself. As well as the height from which the helicopter is released.

Apparatus: Paper, Scotch tape, Scissors, Ruler

Method: Create a helicopters rotors using take and paper use the diagram to help you

Apparatus: 2 meter rulers, one stop watch, one balance, 3 paper clips, pencil.

1) Using both the meter rulers and a pencil make a mark on the wall.
2) Weigh the helicopter then record its weight
3) Hold the paper helicopter parallel to the mark on the wall
4) At the same time release the helicopter and start the stopwatch
5) Stop the stop watch when the helicopter touches the ground
6) Weigh the first paper clip and record its weight
7) Attach the paper clip to helicopter and repeat the experiment
8) Weigh the second paper clip and record its weight
9) Attach the paper clip to helicopter and repeat the experiment
10) Weigh the final paper clip and record its weight
11) Attach the paper clip to helicopter and repeat the experiment

Conclusion and Evaluation:

In this experiment my prediction was right, therefore proving that the helicopter may reach its terminal velocity faster with higher mass meaning that the speed is greater therefore it allows the helicopter to reach the ground faster if there is more mass.

There are two major flaws in this experiment, the first being the height from which the helicopter is dropped, as it is held away from the mark of 2m therefore it would have inaccuracies of around 10cm this causes the experiment results to vary. Another flaw being the human reaction time, which is pretty slow and inconsistent, this therefore allows us to stop the stopwatches at the wrong time making the experiment inaccurate.

If more time was available, a string could have been hung from the ceiling as a mark of height therefore allowing us to accurately drop the helicopter from the same height, rather than dropping it from an *estimated* 2m. The solution for the wrong human reaction time could be easily solved by the use of light gates. The liht gates could be placed on the floor, and when the helicopter lands, the light will be disrupted therefore allowing the sensor to accurately measure the time taken for the helicopter to reach the ground.

The graph is showing us that the speed and mass of a helicopter are directly proportional as when mass increases so does speed. However the graph had not been a perfect straight line, this could have been caused by the two inaccuracies pointed out from the experiment

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