Complexe Capitale Hélicoptère
Discovery Hub
March 19, 2015

Helicopter Facts for Kids

It’s not always easy to understand how helicopters work and what they can be used for.

Here is some information adapted for children to introduce them to the world of the helicopter!

First, unlike airplanes, helicopters are extremely agile and can land or take off vertically! They therefore do not need runway.

The helicopter moves with the lift and thrust provided by the rotation of the rotors, which usually include two or more blades. The main rotor on top of the helicopter, is bigger, while another rotor is located in the tail and together they insure that the helicopter is controlled accurately.

Some helicopters, such as the Chinook, have two horizontal rotors that rotate in opposite directions, allowing the helicopter to lift heavy objects.

The fastest speed recorded by a helicopter is about 400 kmh (248 mph) and the longest distance without landing is 3562 km (2213 miles).

Hovering is one of the most difficult maneuvers since a constant controls required.

First helicopter

The first helicopter was made around 1480, when Leonardo da Vinci designed a device looking like a helicopter, which can be described as an « aerial screw ». Later, in 1936, an experimental aircraft called the Focke-Wulf Fw 61 made its first flight.

What do helicopters do?

Helicopters are often used for search & rescue missions, as they can access areas where a plane could not land, for example, on a mountain. They can also be used as air ambulance, for a fast transport to a hospital. At the Complexe Capitale Hélicoptère, Airmedic the company offers this type of service.

In addition to the rescue missions, the helicopter is often used in the tourism industry. This is a good way to see the city from a different perspective! GoHelico, based at the Complexe, offers helicopter tours above Quebec City. We can also use a helicopter to fight against fires or to transport equipment and other types of jobs too. Capitale Hélicoptère do these kind of interventions from the Complexe as well.

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