What are some tips for building your own helicopter?


Quick Answer

To build your own helicopter properly, make the propeller as smooth as possible for good aerodynamic airflow. When mounting the propeller, find the exact center before drilling a hole to ensure there is no weight imbalance during flight.

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Full Answer

Building your own helicopter requires a 1/2-inch in diameter dowel rod, P-220 and P-100 grit sandpaper, wood glue and a piece of balsa wood measuring 1 by 6 inches. Using P-100 sandpaper, sand the edges of the balsa wood until well-rounded. To ensure a smooth flight, use the P-220 sandpaper to fully round off the corners.

To make the helicopter fly without dipping sideways midflight, use a ruler to locate the exact center of the propeller, length-wise and width-wise. Using a drill bit that is slightly smaller than your dowel rod, drill a 1/2-inch propulsion hole in the propeller. Use a piece of tape wrapped around the drill bit as guide to ensure that the hole is not too deep.

Dab some wood glue into the hole and stick the dowel rod in it. If the hole is tight enough, you may not need any glue. Instead, use a hammer to secure the rod in the hole. To fly the helicopter, hold the rod between your palms, and rub them together to make the propeller spin. Let go of the dowel rod to allow the helicopter to take flight.

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