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ERIC Number: EJ1177739
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-May
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Things One Can Learn by Putting a Quadcopter in a Vacuum Chamber
Ayars, Eric; Goff, Tori; Williams, Kirk
Physics Teacher, v56 n5 p317-319 May 2018
Quadcopters (also known as "drones") do not fly in vacuum. This is obvious enough that experimenting on one in a vacuum chamber would seem rather uninteresting, but there is one question that may be usefully addressed by such an experiment: the mechanism for yaw control. Quadcopters control yaw (rotation about the vertical axis) by differential rotor speed, and the question of whether those changes in rotor speed create yaw torque via conservation of angular momentum or via atmospheric drag can be addressed by "flying" a quadcopter in a vacuum where there is effectively zero atmospheric drag.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A