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Age 7 to 16 Challenge Level:


brainstorming the helicopter taskWith thanks to Class 6K
Mayfield Primary School, Cambridgeshire
for letting me observe their science lesson.





Watch the video below to see one way of making a simple helicopter.

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Imagine you have been asked to design a helicopter to drop supplies to people in a remote disaster area. A controlled descent and soft landing is essential - too fast might damage the load and too slow might blow off course!

Here is a template for one possible helicopter (Word, pdf).
Once you have had a go, think about how the helicopter could be adapted.
How would you decide on the best possible helicopter design?

You will need to decide the height from which you will drop the helicopter, and the load it will carry.
Here are some issues to consider in your search for the best helicopter:

  • number, shape and design of wings  
  • speed of descent 
  • choice of materials
  • cost of materials
  • wastage 
  • choice of colour
Thanks to Jim Flood, former staff tutor in Technology at the Open University, for the design of the helicopter template.