This event involves teams building and testing a helicopter rotor to safely land an egg on the ground from a variable height.

Added 01/24/13 You can have a central axis without having a physical axis.

Added 01/23/13 The following issues were discussed at our coaches' meeting on January 9, 2013.  Our State Director just responded that he agrees with these decisions.

1.  The cup must be the first thing that strikes the ground.  The question arose: Is it OK for the kids to use a rubber band to attach the cup to the rotor and the rubber band is the first thing to touch the ground?
NO.  They will have to come up with a different mechanism of attachment.
2. Can the students use rotors just the blades from commercial kits?
Sorry, but NO.  Nothing from commercial kits.
3.  Can you have streamers or other things attached to the device not parachutes that will help to slow it down?
YES, BUT in their extended positions, they must fit in the 51 cm cube because that is what they will look like in the air.  Unless we say that, teams could coil up huge amounts of material that would balloon out even though they are not parachutes.

Added 11/26/12 Here are a couple of frequently asked questions.
Question: What criteria will be used to determines if a rotor will be disqualified as a parachute?
Answer: The event supervisor will use his/her best judgement as to whether the rotor captures air and/or is acting as a parachute. (section: 4 / paragraph: e / line: 1)

Question: Are the students allowed to push the blades just before they drop the devices?
Answer: No, students may not push or start the blades into rotation before or after they release the device.  Please refer to Rule 3.a. line 2.

Added 10/23/12 Another less expensive source of kits is

Care must be taken to make sure students are building devices that conform to this year's rules.

Added 10/11/12 Coaches - PLEASE provide lots of adult supervision and assistance when your students try out their devices.  The SO rules are made by people who live in cold climates.  Their schools are like the one I attended in the Midwest - five floors, stairwells that run from top to bottom.  It is easy to find 5 m + heights for dropping the devices in those multi-floor buildings.  (Rule 4.d.)  The highest, SAFE spot that we can provide at our Division B Regional Competition is about 4.1 m.  We could find higher spots like the roof of a building, but adults would have to make the drops, and the kids like to drop their own devices.  Dave Ziegler ( has some helicopter kits.   I do not know if they would work for this event.


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San Diego Regional Competition events follow:
1. The rules in the Rules Manuals
2. Clarifications on the National Science Olympiad web site
3. Additional clarifications, if any, from our Regional Event Captains
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