How to Make a Flying Helicopter at Home

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A helicopter flies by creating lift with rotating blades. The blades rotate and displace air downward, which lifts the helicopter into the air. You can make a simple flying helicopter toy at home in minutes with just a few simple supplies. Children will enjoy helping to build this easy-to-assemble toy helicopter.

Things You'll Need

  • 8- to 10-inch length of balsa wood (propeller)
  • Ruler
  • Sandpaper
  • Pen or pencil
  • ½-inch diameter dowel rod
  • Saw
  • Wood glue


  1. Prepare the propeller by sanding the ends of the balsa wood until the corners are rounded. Measure the balsa wood to find the center. Mark the center of the propeller with a pen or pencil.

  2. Cut a length of dowel rod 6 to 8 inches long with a small saw. Smooth the cut end with sandpaper. Sand one end as flat as possible for the balsa wood propeller.

  3. Place a drop of wood glue on the center mark on the balsa wood propeller. Place a second drop of wood glue on the flattened end of the wooden dowel rod. Place the propeller on a flat surface. Press the glued end of the dowel rod onto the glue in the center of the balsa wood propeller so that the dowel and the propeller form a "T" shape. Hold the the dowel in place until the glue dries.

  4. Place the dowel between your hands with the balsa wood propeller pointed upward to fly the helicopter. Rub your palms in opposite directions rapidly while simultaneously tossing the helicopter up into the air.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a hot glue gun for faster assembly and drying of the glue.
  • Fly the helicopter by simultaneously spinning the dowel rod between your hands and tossing the helicopter upward.
  • Paint or decorate the dowel rods and balsa wood propellers prior to assembly.
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  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/ Images

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