The Effect of Total Mass and Distance of a Hanging Mass on the Acceleration of a Helicopter

The purpose of this experiment was to determine the effect of total mass of a helicopter and the distance of a hanging mass from the helicopter on the acceleration of a helicopter. A remote control helicopter was used to gather data on the effects and interaction effect of the total mass of a helicopter (helicopter mass plus hanging mass) and the distance of the hanging mass from the bottom of the helicopter. Small masses of three different levels were hung from the “landing gear” of the remote control helicopter at the desired length for each trial. Video analysis was taken and analyzed using Logger Pro to determine the helicopters acceleration in each trial. A two factor Design of Experiment was used to analyze the data from the experiment. The experiment was conducted to benefit works like helicopter load and Medevac helicopter use. The hanging masses mimicked the use of helicopters carrying load by hanging beneath the helicopter as well as the use of rope ladders and other gear used by rescue and Medevac helicopters. The results of the experiment showed scientific significance, but not statistical significance. The initial hypothesis which stated that mass would have the greatest effect was rejected as the interaction effect and the distance had the greatest effect.

Research Conducted By:

Abigail Bault
Center Line High School

Megan Satawa
Warren Woods Tower High School