How To Build A Helicopter
Some time ago, it was a crazy idea if you say you want to learn how to build a helicopter. But because of high rise in aviation fuel, road travel insecurity, distance, fuel cost and time consumption it is now a venture worth trying. In learning how to build a helicopter you will need the following:
- 2 1/2" long finish nails
- Small wooden board or short "2 by 4"
- Pliers or sturdy needle-nose pliers
- 6" long wooden tongue depressors
- Drill and 1/8" drill bit
- Hot water
- Scissors, ruler
- Electrical tape
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks
- Non-hardening modeling clay
- Triple beam balance
- Construct a bending jig: The first thing in learning how to build a helicopter is to print out a scale of the pattern. The dot shows the point to place the nails. Measure and cut out the pattern with the tape and put it on the wood. Nail it in such a way to bend so many tongue depressors at once. Any additional pair should bend an extra tongue depressor. Vertically, use pliers to bend the nails.
- Calibrate, drill and curve the tongue depressors: Make a mark at the centre of the depressor with the mark detector. Drill a hole on the mark. Draw double marks of 1.5” from the centre and take the lines across the opposite side of the tongue depressor. Using 1/8 inch bit, make a hole at the centre of the tongue depressor. Heat the tongue depressor in hot water a little and put it into the jig before it is completely cold. Allow the wood to dry overnight inside the jig.
- Form cut out Airfoils Taping: Roughly cut two patterns of airfoil. Twist a tape till the outside becomes gummy. Stick several of the fixtures on one side of the cardboard. Cut out the strong outlines with a sharp edge of a table. Curve the cardboard and remove the pattern.
- Placing the airfoils to the tongue depressor: In learning how to build a helicopter, applying glue on the airfoils can be very challenging. You have limited time to do this because the glue is hot, hardens fast and it can burn. Practice it first without the glue or get someone to assist you. Apply the glue from the bottom to top of the depressor. Put the airfoil at the centre of the depressor and press hardly on to the glue.
- Helicopter balancing: Fix a small wire into the hole at the centre of the depressor. The aircraft is not balanced if one of the ends drops down. To balance it, add a little hot glue to the smaller end from the point the tongue depressor inters the airfoil.
- Measure the weight: This is the wing construction step in learning how to build a helicopter. Flatten 4 gram clay to a 1 1/5” by ¾” rectangle. Fix the flatly molded clay into one end of the aircraft. It should reach the depressor with the clay peeking out. Cut two-inches of the tape and stick half the size at the centre of each side of the helicopter airfoil.
In your drive to learn how to build a helicopter, know that an out of balance helicopter will vibrate, which will reduce efficiency during launch. Follow these steps carefully in building a helicopter and you will enjoy flying your own hand made helicopter.