Using a Dremel rotary tool to power an R/C helicopter seems like a really stupid idea. But Peter Sripol is the guy who built an airplane out of an angle grinder, and a gas-powered NERF blaster, so if anyone can pull it off, it’s him. But there’s much more to engineering a helicopter than just slapping a rotor onto the Dremel.
After seeing Top Gun: Maverick, model maker Boylei Hobby Time wanted to make a diorama inspired by one of the movie’s big action sequences. While he found a 1:144-scale model of the soviet gunship helicopter, he couldn’t find one of an F-18 fighter jet a the same time, so he decided to swap in an X-Wing from Star Wars.
The guys from Garage 54 have done all kinds of stupid things to Lada cars. For this experiment, they wanted to see if they could turn one of the old Russian jalopies into an improvised helicopter by connecting its drivetrain to a propeller on its roof. Place your bets now on whether this thing will ever get off the ground.
Modelmaker 3JWings made this miniature replica of MD 530F helicopter using popsicle sticks. He cut and layered the sticks together, then sanded them smoothly to form the chopper’s body. After cutting and attaching details like its skids and rotors, he applied a yellow and black paint job to bring it to life.
In 1977, this unusual helicopter appeared on the cover of Popular Mechanics. To lure in high-end customers, Winnebago worked with a small aviation company to create the Heli-Home, a complete mobile home that could take to the skies. Calum has the full story behind this fascinating flying machine and the man behind its creation.
Helicopter rotors are usually propelled by a spinning motor, but Project Air wanted to see if it would be feasible to use a rocket engine to make the blade spin instead. Rather than build a complete helicopter, he built a free-flying monocopter that could fly with a single rocket.
We already know that the view from a helicopter’s spinning rotor can be incredibly dizzying. That’s why we’re happy that Chuck Aaron Aerobatics recorded this blade spin POV at 240 fps, then slowed it to 30 fps, giving us a more digestible look at what a helicopter blade sees as it takes to the skies.
Kaman Air Vehicles makes the K-MAX Aerial Truck, a dual-blade helicopter designed for lifting cargo, disaster response, and search-and-rescue operations. In this time-lapse clip, you’ll see how they build one of the choppers, and then how its blades spin without hitting each other. The helicopter can be flown with a pilot or unmanned.
Ever wonder what those balls are on aerial power lines? They’re used to prevent small aircraft from running into wires. What’s more interesting is how those balls get installed. Watch as this brave lineman sits on the edge of a helicopter platform, holding the ball between his legs as he heads into the sky and places the ball.
This short video from Pilot Yellow provides an incredibly concise and easy to understand explanation of the basics of helicopter flight, using a small Guimbal Cabri G2 chopper to demonstrate. While it doesn’t go into the complexities of weather or flight safety, it’s a great primer on what all of those controls do.
(Gore) The idea of dropping a crowd of people into a helicopter blade from above is some pretty warped stuff. But as we’ve seen before, CG animator atomic marvel isn’t squeamish about turning anatomical avatars into digital mincemeat. The guy standing over the middle of the rotor gets to take the longest ride.
Built for the Russian Air Force by Rostvertol, the Mil Mi-26 is an enormous helicopter designed for heavy lifting. With a maximum takeoff weight of more than 123,000 pounds, pilots show off the copter’s skills by lifting a Tupolev 134 jet. There’s an awesome photo of another Mi-26 doing the same on Twitter.
It’s pretty easy to find toy airplanes that are powered by a rubber band. On the other hand coming up with something that replicates the dual rotor movements of a helicopter is more of a challenge. Maker Peter Sripol managed to create one. Download the 3D printed part designs on Thingiverse and watch the build video here.
Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan is slated to open in early 2021. From the looks of this flyover of the park, it’s going to look amazing when it’s all done, transporting Nintendo fans into the heart of their favorite games. We spy Peach’s and Bowser’s castles, a Mario Kart ride, and a Toad House among other details.
When we were kids, we had one of those wind-up toys that launched a flying propellor into the air. Aerospace engineer Tom Stanton wanted to see what he could do if he ramped up the energy by spinning up a larger (and more dangerous) version of the propellor flywheel using a motor.
Take a soothing 360º flight through the snowy and scenic mountains of British Columbia, Canada. Helicopter pilot Bradley Friesen and videographer Devin Olsen captured more than 50 minutes of their flight using a GoPro MAX action camera. It’s even more immersive if you’ve got a VR headset to watch it on.
LEGO fan and maker Adam Woodworth has supersized yet another model. This time he took the basic LEGO helicopter from the International Jetport kit and made a gigantic version that actually can fly. He had to use foam instead of plastic bricks to pull off such magic.
Say what you will about Tom Cruise, but one thing you can’t say is that he isn’t dedicated to his craft. Not only did Cruise learn to fly a helicopter for Mission Impossible: Fallout, he performed solo flying stunts, while acting his part, and operating on-board cameras.
This scale model of an EC-135 ADAC Notarzt Christoph 33 helicopter is so ridiculously huge that it might as well be the real thing. It weighs in at about 108 pounds, has an 11.5 foot rotor diameter, and gets its lift from a turbine engine. Skip to 3:45 to watch it take off.