Museum of Science and Industry


Make and Fly a Helicopter

Step 7 of 7: What's happening?

Air has mass and takes up space. When you drop your helicopter, it has to push the air around it out of its way in order to move.

As the helicopter falls, the pressure of the air pushes the blades up into a slanted position. In this position, the air under one blade is pushing one way and the air under the other blade is pushing the opposite way. These two forces of air push the blades around and make it spin. The faster the blades spin, the less the air can get by, and the slower the helicopter falls.

By experimenting with the weight, shape, and position of the blades, you change how fast and how much air is pushed out of the way. In other words, you’re changing how the air resistance is hitting your helicopter. This affects how it moves.


Museum Hours
  • Extended hours through Sept. 1:
    Daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
    Open daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas
More Information

Museum Location
Museum of Science+Industry
5700 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60637
1 (773) 684-1414
Getting Here

Buy Tickets Online

More Activities




All Online Activities

More Exhibits



Exhibits

Get our e-Newsletter!
Subscribe to the e-Newsletter
connect with msi!