Paper helicopter

Categories: HelicopterScience

This further proves my prediction since the gravitational forces applied on the helicopter are far greater then the air resistance when the wings are longer.

  • Printer
  • Paper  Scissors
  • Paperclip (0.25g)
  • Stopwatch
  • 2x Metre Ruler
  • Diagram
  • Method Assembly of Helicopter

Initially I would have to explore what materials were needed for my investigation and set them up and use them accordingly if I want to achieve precise results.

Now I will explain how to conduct my experiment:

  1. Create template for paper helicopter, which then must be folded and cut accordingly to instructions.

  2. Attach 0. 25g paperclip to the bottom of the helicopter near the cut line.
  3. Use the metre stick to measure out two metres exactly from the floor.
  4. Find work surface, and measure twp metres from the floor.
  5. Place helicopter wings flat against metre stick and release from the two-metre mark from the floor.
  6. Drop the helicopter three times, get helper to start the stopwatch when the helicopter is released and stop once it has reached the floor
  7. Record time to 2 decimal places e.

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  8. Cut of 1 cm and repeat 3 more times, add the cut pieces to the paper clip. Stopwatch.

Note: To reset the time, the start must be pressed followed by stop time. In order to make sure results were as accurate as possible, a second person was needed to operate the stopwatch whilst the first person dropped the helicopter. Two stopwatches were needed if at any time the first one was faulty. In order to keep my experiment flawless, I will have to ensure that my control (mass) stays the same, I will do this by attaching the cut off wing spans to the paper clip as specified above, which will overall allow me to be assured that the helicopter has lost no mass and has only lost its wing span as the changed variable.

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The results will be recording into a table in a notebook to start with; the table devised will have all the labels and scientific units, so that the results are as precise as possible. My reasoning behind doing the test 3 different times is that, my philosophy is that the most times the experiment has been completed, the higher the accuracy is because some anomalous results may be an outcome of not using stopwatch properly or plainly just the awareness or co-ordination or the person using the stopwatch.

This also allows me to identify any anomalous results in my conclusion and logically explain why those took place. Preliminary Work I was lead to believe that prior investigations were needed to be conducted, which would allow me to get an insight into what possible errors may occur in the investigation and also help me in devising a prediction and ultimately understand the type of results I would be achieving. Firstly, I began to observe and practice with different methods of constructing helicopters such as a variety of templates and also the best size for the helicopter in general.

After the helicopter was successfully constructed, I changed the variables of the helicopter such as changes in the mass of the helicopter (adding more paper clips) and also changing the wingspan (shortening the wings), I realized that the greater the mass, the harder it was to record the data since in some occasions when the mass was too heavy it became too quick to calculate the data and also harder to use the stopwatch. Therefore I decided to choose to do wingspan, and I have a much larger scientific knowledge and reasoning of why the speed would increase due to a smaller wingspan. Results Attempts

Wingspan length(cm) 1 –  The reason for this may be due to the helicopter reaching its maximum speed but since the air resistance taking longer to build up because of the speed being slower than the upper wingspans. The gradual increase in the resistance force will amplify until it becomes equal to the accelerating force, until the helicopter cannot accelerate anymore. Using the terminal velocity theory, I can conclude that it would take longer for a 4cm wing spanned helicopter to fall 1 metre than for it to fall 2 metres. Risk Assessment.

Before commencing with my experiment I will have to take several precautions to ensure that there will not be any risks that can cause accidents for either myself or others working nearby. Foremost, the risk of falling of the work surfaces will have to be analysed since the experiment involves me dropping a helicopter from three metres, I have to ensure I will not be going down along with it. In order to do this, I will have to ensure the work surface is completely tidy by removing all excess books, paper, or any other materials not needed for the investigation away and the things which are required must be placed on another table.

Another dangerous factor would be making sure that I am not near the edge of the work surface because that could lead to the most dangerous fall, which can result into very harmful pain and in some circumstances, fatal injury. One of the minor precautions would be to ensure I use the scissors properly so I don’t cut myself with the scissors will removing the helicopter from the template but more importantly I should be aware to safely restore the scissors into a much safer spot such as a teachers cabinet so others cannot get injured by them.

Cite this page

Paper helicopter. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from

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