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Division:Div C – High SchoolNC Essential Standards Alignment:Science as InquiryEvent Rules:See the National rule manualEvent Score Sheet:NoneNational Event Page:HereRequired Materials:Safety glasses, helicopter(s), flight logClarifications:NC Only: Competitors will be required to wear safety glasses when in the flight area (9/21/17)


This is a building event. Teams will build and test ahead of time up to 2 rubber powered helicopter(s). A flight log containing at least 6 parameters for at least 10 test flights must be written and turned in at the competition. At the competition, teams will have 8 minutes to complete up to 2 official flights for the maximum time aloft.


Teams may bring up to 2 helicopters, safety glasses, any tools, and their flight log.


High score wins. Points are earned for seconds aloft of the best single flight. Teams missing part or all of their flight log will be penalized. Ties are broken by the best non-scored flight. Bonus multipliers this year for flights that occur within the first 3 min after teams receive their motor back, non-coaxial motors that are separated by at least the radius of the rotors, and for having the surface of at least one blade between the leading and trailing edges and between the outermost and next inboard rib on each rotor marked with a black marker or covered with black tissue.

Common Mistakes:

Know which way to wind your helicopter! If you wind it backwards it will go straight down instead of straight up.

Don’t forget your flight log. ┬áThis is an easy penalty to avoid.


Balsa wood can be bought at most hobby stores, or in bulk from Tower Hobbies or other online stores

Rubber band motors and winders can be bought at some hobby stores, or from Midwest or other online stores, search for rubber motor or contest rubber. Also, make sure you know the gear ratio of your winder. 1:5, 1:8, and 1:16 are all common, and will affect how many turns you make to achieve the ideal number of winds on your motor. The first number (1) is how many times you turn the crank compared to how many times your motor is turned on the output side (the 2nd number).

Event Resources:

2017 Clinic Presentation – Flying Event Tools

2017 Clinic Presentation – Helicopters


NoneA great helicopter flight. This was a trim flight.Helicopter structure and assembly.Helicopter demo winding and flight (don’t wind rubber band the wrong way!)Good tutorial for helicopters event showing the proper way to wind your rubber band motor and connect it to the hooks, then let it fly! See how much the flight is improved after adding a pin to the top to keep the rotors from scraping the ceiling.How to attach tissue paper (or film) to a balsa wood skeleton of a wing or propeller and trim away excess without damaging the wing or adding unnecessary weight.It is sometimes necessary to curve balsa wood to get a desired shape for the outline or a rib of your wing. This demonstration shows one way to achieve a significant curve.How to make a motor hook for the moving rotor.How to attach a motor hook (for the moving rotor) to your motor stick.How to attach the fixed motor hook to your motor stick.