Thursday, August 20, 2015


Sometimes people in movies call helicopters "HE-LOs." Why? I don't understand. Shouldn't it be HELIs? Hmm.

After we learned about Leonard Sikorsky and the invention of helicopters (which was interesting…I had never before thought of a helicopter rotor as a moving wing. But it makes sense! Instead of going fast, so the wind will rush over your wing and create lift…you make your WING "rush under" the WIND! Brilliant.) we made a bunch of paper helicopters and tried to learn about which shapes were most effective.

We used this basic template, and then tried every possible variation. Large blades. Long bodies. Looped blades. Thin blades. Thick paper. Twisted paper. And then the children had a heyday dropping them all off of the balcony.

Here you can see them coming down in all their glory.

And here Abe demonstrates some of his design variants.

A few other resources:

Here's a cool helicopter rescue.

And here's an article and video on the group who won, after years and years, the Sikorsky Prize for a human-powered helicopter!

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