If a Helicopter’s Engine Fails, Will It Just Fall from the Sky? A YouTuber Decided to Find Out May 14, 2016

If a Helicopter’s Engine Fails, Will It Just Fall from the Sky? A YouTuber Decided to Find Out

Last year, Neil deGrasse Tyson tweeted this amusing thought:

BrickHelicopter

An airplane whose engine fails is a glider. A helicopter whose engine fails is a brick.

It makes sense on the surface. If a helicopter’s main rotor blade just stops spinning, won’t the whole contraption just fall from the sky?

Destin Sandlin decided to test out that theory by, um, getting in a helicopter and shutting off the engine. Because science.

(Okay, so he had a little bit of help, but the explanation is really neat.)

Kudos to Prophet Neil for being a good sport about all of this.

By the way, if you’re not already subscribed to Smarter Every Day, you’re missing out. It’s one of the best science-y channels out there.


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