To learn how to make a toy helicopter you must first decide on one important thing. Is this helicopter just for show or do you want it to fly? Show helicopters are ornate but heavy. Flying helicopters are simple, aerodynamic and astonishingly easy to build. The key is in crafting a strong propeller and propulsion system. Here’s how to make a toy helicopter with both these qualities, for very little money and in less than an hour.
Here's what you’ll need:
- Dowel rod (wooden pin 1/2 inch in diameter)
- P-220 grit & P-100 grit Sandpaper
- Wood glue
- Piece of wood (preferably Balsa wood) 1 x 6 inches.
- Waste piece of wood (cheap 2×4)
- Drill and drill bit in a diameter 1/8 inch less than the dowel.
Here’s How to Make a toy helicopter that can fly:
- Make the propeller. Sand the edges of the balsa wood with P-100 grit sandpaper to round off the corners. Once well-rounded, smooth the wood using P-220 grit sandpaper. When you make a toy helicopter the smoothness of the propeller is key to aerodynamic air flow.
- Locate the propeller’s center. Use the ruler to find the exact middle of the propeller both length-wise and width-wise. Accuracy is critical when you make a toy helicopter that can fly. Deviations from the central position will create a weight imbalance that will cause the toy helicopter to dip sideways mid-flight and fall to the ground.
- Choose the drill bit. Before drilling into the middle point in the toy helicopter propeller, first drill into a waste piece of wood to be sure that your drill bit is only slightly smaller than your dowel diameter. A tight fit is better, as this will cut on gluing time later and make your toy helicopter indestructible.
- Drill the propulsion hole. Stick tape at the end of your drill bit 1/2 an inch from its tip to form a drill stop flag. Drill a hole into the center position of the toy helicopter propeller. Start the drill very slowly to prevent the drill bit from slipping out of position. Drill only until the flag reaches the propeller surface.
- Glue the propulsion dowel. Place a dab of wood glue in the hole you drilled, then fit the dowel rod inside. If you pre-drilled a tight fit into the toy helicopter propeller simply hammer the dowel in.
- Fly the toy helicopter. The best part of making a toy helicopter is trying it out. Hold the propulsion dowel between your palms with the propeller facing upward. Rub your palms together and simultaneously cast the toy helicopter into the air. Then watch it fly.