Propeller driven car project

In this project students design, make and test a propeller driven model car. All testing is done using the PowerAnchor which doubles as the power source and central point which the cars travel around. The propeller is connected directly to the motor which is powered by the PowerAnchor (some soldering is required). The car itself is made either by vacuum forming over shaped blue modelling (alternatively, the blue modelling foam itself can be used as the chassis). Axles and wheels are added and then the testing and fun begins.

View Gallery for Helicar Project

A full range of design activities are included in the student notes and the teacher’s notes help to guide through the delivery of the project. These include:

  • Information sheets on experimental car design
  • Homework questions
  • Research tasks
  • Concept sketching
  • Video questions
  • Working with balsa
  • Detailed design brief
  • Record of testing
  • Evaluation

The project pack also includes a 20 minute classroom DVD on some of the background of the project and the processes involved in making a Helicar.

Content covered in the project:

  • Experimental cars
  • Propellers
  • EfficiencyAerodynamics
  • Terminal velocity
  • Vacuum forming
  • Working with blue modelling foam
  • CNC milling and CAD (optional)


Our aim is to support teachers with all the resources needed to successfully run this unit of work in their classrooms. We provide all the materials and the less common equipment as well as teaching notes and student sheets.

Helicar is ideally run with a vacuum former and schools with CAD/CAM capability will be able to extend the project in ways that bring rigour to the design process. Schools without this equipment can also run the Helicar project by hand forming the modelling foam and using this as the chassis.

Materials And Equipment

  • Scalpels
  • Cutting mat
  • Blue modelling foam
  • Rasping file
  • Vacuum former (preferred)
  • Motors
  • Vacuum forming plastic Release agent - vaseline
  • Drill with 2mm bit
  • Soldering irons and solder Wheels
  • Propellers
  • Power Anchor
  • Axles
  • Modelling foam
  • PowerAnchor ( Read More )
  • Black sticking vinyl
  • Hot wire foam cutter (optional)
  • CNC router (optional)

Wheels pack of 100

Code: W100
excl. GST
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Axle pack of 50

Code: AX50
excl. GST
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Motor cable pack of 50

Code: MC50
excl. GST
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Motor with propeller pack of 25

Code: MP25
excl. GST
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Helicar class pack for 25

Code: HP25

Foam pieces, motor with propellers, motor cables, axles, wheels…

excl. GST
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PowerAnchor with full accessories set

Code: PA

Power Anchor plus high impact case…

excl. GST
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