Propeller car, School years 7-9

Your students will get to know the principles of dynamics by making this vehicle and testing it on the Power Anchor. There is plenty of testing, measuring and recording results so that an understanding of speed, acceleration thrust, drag and terminal velocity is built up. Nothing beats seeing these principles in action. Construction of the Helicar is simple. The classroom video also explains how a hot wire cutter, CNC router and vacuum former can be put to good use in this project.

This project is rich in engineering content, backed up with a full set of teaching resources including student notes and teacher notes plus classroom video with demonstrations plus all the consumables to run the project with confidence. The teacher notes include a tutorial on designing on CAD for CNC machining.

What you need:

  • PowerAnchor
  • Teaching resource
  • Motors with propellers
  • Plane connectors
  • Motor cables
  • Axles
  • Wheels
  • Balsa
Go to Catalog
Download Data Logger Software

Software for PC. Download the software and run the file PADLapp.exe.  Save a shortcut to your desktop.


The Hyperlink in the ‘Helicar Student Notes’ to the James May Video – ‘Come Fly with Me’, has been moved to the following page http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfwn4_W6x9A

Making a Helicar

Making a propeller car using modelling foam. This is a quick (and a bit messy) process for making an aerodynamic propeller driven car for testing on the PowerAnchor. Watch the tricks and shortcuts.

Connecting cables to the motor

It might be necessary to slightly crimp the motor connector cables before pushing them on the motor terminals. This will ensure a good push fit.