Physics Van 3-site Navigational Menu

Physics Van Navigational Menu

Q & A: Helicopters in Action

Learn more physics!

Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
what makes a helicoptor fly?
- Rebeka (age 10)
B.Bow N.E USA
A:
Helicopters are actually amazing machines. They have 2 sets of rotors (the spinning blades). And the blades themselves twist a little.

I'll start with the big rotors on top. These spin very fast. They are a lot like the propeller on an airplane. They push so much air down that the helicopter lifts up. Each blade also tilts a little when the pilot tells it to. The blades towards the back of the helicopter can be twisted to push more air than in the front. This makes the whole helicopter lean forward. Then, since the air is being pushed at an angle, the whole helicopter moves forward.

There are also small rotors in the back. These will twist in either direction to push air to the left or the right. That makes the helicopter turn to the side.

When you put those together, the helicopter can move in any direction or even just stay still.


Adam

(published on 10/22/2007)

Follow-up on this answer.