Thread Tools
Sep 21, 2010, 10:43 AM
Registered User
Thread OP

Look for ideas for upcoming Science fair project (High School level)...

Hey Guys,

Looking for ideas to assist my daughter with the upcoming science fair (High School level). She would like to try something with one of my helis as a subject. Since it is a higher level, we can't get by with a basic exam of helicopter flight. So I'm looking for ideas. I was thinking about examining pitch vs. lift, but agian I'm looking for ideas... I figure someone out there has faced this before so I thought I'd ask around.

What we have to work with are 3 450 size helis and a 500 (if that helps) and two open minds.. I'm not a 3D guy by any stretch, so explaining the phisical forces of, and demonstrating 3D manuvers is out of the question.

Any help with picking a subject or idea is greatly appreciated....

Many thanks in advance,

Austin, Tx
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Sep 21, 2010, 01:54 PM
Registered User
I hope you're not planning on flying the heli in a gym full of people as part of the demonstration...

Beyond that you may want to think about a discussion on phasing, what it is and how it applies practically to helicopters.

Another option is to change one of the helis to flybarless and do a comparison on the differences to one with a flybar and how the 3 axis gyro/stabilization systems work.
Sep 21, 2010, 06:28 PM
Got Helis
choppersrule's Avatar

Since you'll have a young audience, you may want to have a question and answer discussion on how helis works.
Here's a video to get ya going.

Just google, how helicopters work, and you'll get a ton of websites to choose from.

Also, for demonstation purposes (with the motor disconnected), you could show the class how the swashplate works, for forward, backward, left, right flight. And hovering. How the tail rotors effect yaw. And explain how each works with a demonstation of the swashplate movement for each. Also, with throttle stick, and how it effects the pitch of the main blades.

Another thing, is that since it's an RC Heli you'll be showing, you could explain how the Transmitter sends signals to the Receiver and actuates each of the individual servos and controls motor speed.

What helis are used for? Another good topic for question and answer period.

I did the above for my father-in-law and he was pretty impressed. We all see them flying around, but not many actually understand how the fly.

Good luck and let us know how it comes out,

Sep 22, 2010, 10:47 PM
Registered User
Originally Posted by J_Cunny
Hey Guys,
we can't get by with a basic exam of helicopter flight. So I'm looking for ideas.
Austin, Tx
Just thought I would restate that one for you

How about what blade pitch maintains head speed the best during an autorotation?

Pitch vs lift would be good. You could incorporate headspeed vs lift as well.

Load vs current draw. Hovering the heli at different weights. You would need a data logger though. Doing something with the electrical system would be educational and possibly fun. There is a lot of technology in the electrics. Explain how a 3 phase brushless motor works.

Can't think of anything else sorry. Should get some interesting ideas here though.
Sep 22, 2010, 11:02 PM
Registered User
What science fair?
Science fairs have gotten intense...
I am in HS, I am doing autopilot for a heli (swift 620) with artificial neural network controls
Sep 23, 2010, 01:37 AM
Registered User
I would go for, "how fast can it go". Would give lots of science method. Like how to measure speed, doppler, radar, or timed distance. How to log, compare, and chart data. Also the many factors that speed it up, or slow it down. Could be combined with pictures, models, video, and the adventure of travel to test sites. Might be a big project if they have little time.
Sep 23, 2010, 09:47 AM
Registered User
S9coldfire's Avatar
I'm guessing the judges like it better when you investigate an effect while varrying a single variable (rather than just explain how something works).

Lifting power (max weight) vs. head speed
Lifting power vs. battery discharge rate
Lifting power vs. blade length
Flight time vs. head speed
Flight time vs. battery capacity

Or if you want something more design oriented and have any interest in FPV there's a ton of room there. You could follow one of IBCrazy's threads on how to build your own antennas for video tx & rx and investigate how antennas afftect range. What combination of frequencies work best for RC control and video. Or any number of other things involved there.
Sep 26, 2010, 01:47 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
OK Guys,

Here's what I thinking. I am going to prove that a set of 335mm blades provide more lift than say a a 325mm or a 315mm blade set given the same helicopter setup and power source and motor and flying conditions. I was going to add a 60 gram ballast to the skid area to lift the same weight load under a 3 foot 4 minute hover. What I am curious about is the proof. I could use current amp draw (basically the amount of current put back into identical 3s 2200mah packs), and show that one will thoeretically draw more amperage do to the loss of lift than the other (given the same setup) and use that for a proof. Or should I provide the expansion of this by formula means and show the results real time? Meaning trying to use Bourenelii's equation to do so. I don't have a PHD in math or physics, but I looking for suggestions or advise on how to proof this along with our experiment.

Any thoughts or suggestions are greatly appreciated, as I know there a those out there who fly and really get into the math and physics of helicopter flight. Again, I greatly appreciate all thodse who have suggested thus far, and thus who continue to do so.

Thanks for your time and efforts in advance,

Sep 27, 2010, 02:48 AM
Registered User
Sounds good. I would repeat the test at several weights. The rpm needed to lift the weight could be measured. Would probably be easiest to use a data logger for the rpm, and watts used. It could be charted to find the most efficient setup for a heavy, or light lift. And maybe try to explain why.
Might not even need to actually lift into the air. If it was mounted to a scale. the scale could be loaded, and lifted until it zeroed out. That way it could be built into a safe box, to demo at the fair.

Another idea is to see how to make a helicopter "fly" underwater.

Quick Reply

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Discussion High school science fair ideas CoolBudz Electric Plane Talk 46 Oct 31, 2010 01:13 PM
Found High School Senior Project Engine? Please Read, Thank you. Len2 Aircraft - Fuel - Engines and Accessories (FS/W) 20 Aug 17, 2010 09:01 PM
Discussion Need radio gear for high school class project flybob1 Scratchbuilt Indoor and Micro Models 9 Jan 31, 2010 08:13 AM
ideas for school science fair project? Mr. Innocent Slope 22 Mar 07, 2005 03:50 PM
Need ideas for 6th graders science project erashby Electric Plane Talk 12 Jan 28, 2003 12:45 PM