How to Make a Flying Helicopter at Home

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.

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

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.

Place a drop of wood glue on the centre 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 centre of the balsa wood propeller so that the dowel and the propeller form a "T" shape. Hold the dowel in place until the glue dries.

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.


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.

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
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About the Author

Robin Reichert is a certified nutrition consultant, certified personal trainer and professional writer. She has been studying health and fitness issues for more than 10 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health from Clayton College.