• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

I will be carrying out an experiment where I will be testing how a difference in mass can affect the rate at which a helicopter can fall.

Extracts from this document...


I will be carrying out an experiment where I will be testing how a difference in mass can affect the rate at which a helicopter can fall. In order to measure the time it takes for the helicopter to fall, I will be using a stopwatch. However, an alternative to using a stopwatch to work out the time would be to use the formula S = UT + 0.5AT2 where S = distance, U = initial velocity and A = regular acceleration, in this case 9.8m/s-2 , but this does not take into consideration the changing mass of the helicopter, and therefore cannot be used. This will allow me to work out the time that it takes the helicopter to fall. Variables: * Surface area * Mass * Air Density * Aerodynamics * Initial Velocity * Height Hypothesis: In this investigation, as the mass of the helicopter is increased, the faster it will fall. This is because with more mass gravity gets stronger and pulls the object down. With less mass it will give the object less pull so it will stay in the air longer. ...read more.


Once an object has reached this speed, it will continue to fall at a constant rate until it hits the ground. This is Newton's first law of motion. If an object starts its descent at a higher speed, it will reach terminal velocity faster and therefore it will descend faster. When the drag and the Drag (R) weight become equal, we say the object has reached Terminal Velocity. R = W (Terminal Velocity) Weight (W) The Height that the object falls from will alter the time it takes to descend. The greater height the object starts from, the longer it will take to fall back down to earth. If the object only falls a short distance, it also might not have had time to reach its terminal velocity. For this experiment, I have chosen to alter the mass that the helicopter falls with. I have chosen this variable because it is unlikely to produce any anomalous results. The results would also be straightforward to collect. Safety during Investigation: This investigation does not involve the use of anything dangerous. Care will be taken when taking results. ...read more.


By looking at the graph that shows Mass vs. Time of descent, we can clearly see that as the mass went up, the time the helicopter took to reach the ground was decreased. By observing the results, we can work out many other things about the helicopter, such as its acceleration: Change in velocity (m/s) divided by Time taken in seconds. For the 0.9 gram helicopter: Change in velocity is speed - starting speed: 0.78490566 - 0 The change in velocity is 0.78490566 The time taken is 3.3125 The acceleration is 0.2369 meters per second. The formula for terminal velocity is square root of ( 2W/Cd r A). W is weight, Cd is drag coefficient and r is air resistance and a is frontal area. We were not given values for all these variables so we got measurements for terminal velocity by using the pictures we took and observing when the helicopter hit terminal velocity, then we calculated the sped but the calculation, Height that terminal velocity is reached, divided by the time it took for the helicopter to hit the ground from that point. Evaluation: Our experiment is not entirely accurate, due to the fact that we were unable to accurately measure when the helicopter reached terminal velocity. The results we took were fairly accurate, as there are no anomalies present. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Forces and Motion section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Forces and Motion essays

  1. How does an increased surface area change the time taken for a mass to ...

    with a slower constant velocity so therefore it will reach the floor in longer time periods. The small cup cake with the smaller surface area will reach the floor in a shorter time due to its surface area being smaller, therefore having a larger constant velocity.

  2. In this experiment I aim to find out how the force and mass affect ...

    There was one result that did not fit the pattern, and was too extreme to be our reaction time. This was the result for 0g on the manually timed weight experiment. It was suspiciously lower than the others were, and we agreed that it was the fact that the trolley hit the side wasting its energy on friction.

  1. The Helicopter Investigation

    Prediction I believe that as I slowly decrease the helicopter's wingspan by gradually measuring and cutting 1 cm off my wing length each time repeatedly should lead to an overall increase of the helicopters vertical acceleration. My plan is to be able to show that my hypothesis is correct but

  2. How Fast Does a Paper Cone Fall?

    one of the results is anomalous, it will completely throw your results. Without an average the experiment would not be very accurate and if not enough cones are used the spectrum will not be wide enough to see an obvious difference and trend between surface area and time taken.

  1. We are to investigate the factors that determine the terminal velocity of a 'helicopter'.

    Results Table for results when changing the surface area of the wings. All 'helicopters' with a weight of 0.8g on the bottom. Area of wings (cm2) Time (secs) Average time (secs) Terminal Velocity Terminal Velocity Squared 2.11 8 1.99 2.05 1.76 3.08 2.05 2.51 10 2.46 2.45 1.47 2.16 2.39

  2. The Area of a Parachute Compared To Its Rate of Descent

    The plastic can then be marked on to with a near perfect circle, and then cut out with scissors. Six small holes should then be cut into the parachute. The holes should be the diameter of the string being used.

  1. The effect of weight on the terminal velocity of a paper helicopter.

    This will help me to find any problems and alter them for the proper test. It will also help me to decide the amount of paperclips to add each time and also the height at which the helicopter should fall.

  2. Muscular Strength/Endurance and Flexibility

    At low velocities (30-60� per sec), isokinetic testing can measure strength (force). At moderate velocities, it can assess muscular endurance (ability to sustain contractions) and at high velocities it can quantify muscular power (force generated over time). Figure 1: Force versus velocity Figure 2: Power versus velocity Athletes with higher

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work