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Paper Helicopters

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GCSE Physics Coursework Paper Helicopters In this investigation I will be exploring an aspect of paper helicopters. The factors that affect the fall are: * Position of weight * Height of drop * Weight of weight * Wing length These all could be researched in the same way. For example exploring the position of weight would be carried out by dropping the same helicopter off the same height several times with the weight in various positions. Changing just one variable. I would go about the height of drop experiment in the same way but changing the height of the drop instead of the position of the weight. The weight of the weight would be done with one variable being changed once again; the mass of the weight would be changed between drops and recorded accordingly. Wing length is the variable I am most interested to look into because I feel that it is the most interesting. The experiment would be carried out in the same way with different wing spans being dropped from the same height. The apparatus wouldn't vary much from experiment to experiment: a small values balance would be needed for the mass of weight experiment. ...read more.


Time (secs) 3.19 3.75 3.81 4.85 4.06 2.00 From this data I have come to the conclusion that to do this experiment I will need to record the data from the time the spinning motion begins. I have also decided to increase the accuracy of my results by adding more variations of the helicopters. I will also use one helicopter and cut the wings as each length decreases, this will ensure that the helicopter is always exactly the same size, weight and dimensions as before, except for the obvious variation, the wingspan. Apparatus used * Stopwatch * Tape measure * Ruler * Scissors Materials used * Paper * Paperclip Diagram of the experiment The Method * Make one paper helicopter and place the paperclip on the end. This helicopter should have a wingspan of 16cm. * Drop the helicopter from the measured and desired distance and time from the beginning of the spinning motion. Stop the stopwatch when the helicopter hits the ground. * Repeat eight times. * Now cut one centimetre off the wingspan and repeat this method. * Stop when you have done the eight drops of the helicopter with a wingspan of six centimetres. ...read more.


The actual timing etc was successful though. The anomalous results are because they kept hitting the banister to the stairs; this could have caused the results to differ. To improve my results I would have not included these timings in my results and would have dropped the helicopters in a different place. Another reason why the results were inconsistent could be because at some moment during the experiment a draft would be blowing, this could have blown the helicopters off course. The overall reliability is not very good; I don't feel it is sufficient to support my hypothesis because of all the anomalous results. If I could do this task again I would investigate the same subject but I would improve it by setting the experiment in a quieter more open area to avoid the anomalies. Then it would be possible to create a more valid set of data and come to a more specific conclusion. I would have also changed a different variable, height: * Drop the helicopter at various heights recording with a stopwatch. o Make sure that the heights are measured accurately o Make sure that the same helicopter is used. ?? ?? ?? ?? Natalie Day 10/05/2007 ...read more.

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