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Paper propeller

Postby EHSextend » Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:45 am

We need to build a paper propeller that uses a rubber band to propell a helium ballon accross a room. Our basic design is down, we just need a bit of help with designing the propeller.
EHS students

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Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:34 am

Postby EHSextend » Mon Oct 01, 2007 8:15 am

The propeller does not have to be made of paper, it could be plastic, but we get extra points for using recycled material.

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Postby geoffbruton » Mon Oct 01, 2007 9:24 am

Hi EHS Students!

It sounds as though you're moving ahead with your science fair project - well done!

Although this is not in my field (so another expert may be able to help you more), I tried putting "propeller shape" into and the first response gave some excellent information on propeller design - and a lot of things you should consider, too. Please take a look at and see if this helps. In addition, try using slight variations on your search parameters (that is, what words you use) in your favorite search engine, and see what you get back.

Once you've got some more information on propeller design (and I would add that you include this in your log book), you may want to experiment with different designs and see what works best with your particular vehicle.

Good luck, and please let us know if you have any more questions.
Geoff Bruton
Firearm & Toolmark Section
Ventura County Sheriff's Department
Forensic Sciences Laboratory

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Cardboard propellers ?

Postby paulsdecarli » Mon Oct 01, 2007 1:11 pm

You should be able to make propellers out of cardboard. With a round hub made of thick cardboard, one could cut angled slots in the hub and glue in cardboard blades. Your research (and some simple experiments) should give you some ideas about shape and size of the blades.

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