Faculty Advisor

Olinger, David J.


Over the past several decades, several attempts have been made to design and construct a human-powered helicopter (HPH). The MQP's focus is to design an 8.25:1 scale model HPH, incorporating functional aspects of past designs and addressing shortcomings. Dynamic similarity was used to find the model weight, angular velocity, and power required. Blades are designed from a high-lift Epler airfoil obtained from a low Reynolds number database. Original lift and drag data was collected for Re = 10,000 on a test wing. A simple blade element code was written in MATLAB. The model was constructed using materials similar to those likely to be used on a prototype. Initial tests show that the power needed to produce the required lift is below the threshold set by the dynamic similarity.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2011


Aerospace Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering