Nuvola apps kcmsystem.svg Subject classification: this is an engineering resource.

A helicopter is a kind of flying machine or aircraft. A helicopter lifts up off of the ground and moves because of its rotors. A rotor is several small wings, called rotor blades, that spin together around a shaft. For that reason, helicopters are sometimes called rotary-wing aircraft. A helicopter flies differently from an airplane. An airplane must move forward to stay in the air, but because the helicopter's rotor blades are always moving, the helicopter can stop and stay in one place above the ground. This allows them to land in places where an airplane cannot. Helicopters can move by tilting their rotors, which causes the rotor blades to fly in the direction the rotor is tilted.

UH-1H 'Huey' helicopter, Sinai Desert, Egypt.

A helicopter may be built from scratch or modified from a purchased copter (go to 1:39 left in this video). The Parrot DR.Drone is made with open source software and costs $299.

Once the helicopters are built, autopilots can be modified to:

The big advantage of quadcopters is that they can fly indoors. Don't have to worry about restricted airspace. Perhaps enter one of the AUVSI competitions.


Test Room
Test Station
Air Frame
Electronic Speed Control Sync, Start Up
GPS for auto pilot
Target recognition
GPS for target location
PID Controller for stable flight
Auto Pilot
Fail Safe
Manual Pilot
RC control
adhoc, large wifi hot spots for wifi control
Battery mangement, power system
Gryo Accelerometer stabilization


Howard Community College