Landis Bing
Landis Bing
Middle School Honorable Mention: 2011 Engineering & Human Service - Relief from a Disaster Essay Contest
Crystal Lake Middle School

When there’s a disaster, whether it’s an earthquake, tsunami, oil spill, hurricane or tornado, disaster relief supplies needs to be delivered and people need to be rescued. There’s only one item that can do this job quickly and effectively, the helicopter. It’s useful for disaster relief because it can land in nearly any terrain and fly over anywhere. Unlike an airplane, it can fly straight up and land straight down without a runway. A useful tool like this can easily rescue people from a collapsed building, flood, fire or any other type of disaster. The helicopter works by spinning rotor blades and high speed while the pilot controls the helicopter’s direction and movement. Important key elements of it are the two rotors, the collective pitch stick, the cyclic pitch control and the swash plates. Engineers involved in its design are electrical, aerospace and computer engineers.

The helicopter is a technology that works by having a main rotor with two to six blades attached to it. The more blades that are on the rotor, the heavier load the technology can carry. The main rotor pushes air down beneath it and allows the helicopter to lift into the air. The faster the rotor spins the higher up into the air the helicopter will fly. The machine also has a tail rotor that also spins and keeps the helicopter from flying in the opposite direction the pilot intends.

Key elements of the design are the two rotors. Other key elements are the fuselage, the collective pitch stick, cyclic pitch control and the swash plates. The collective pitch stick is used by the pilot to control the lift of the helicopter. If the lift produced it greater than the helicopter’s weight, it raises, if it is the same, the helicopter hovers, if it is less the helicopter falls. Since a helicopter’s default direction is to go up, it needs a special control to make it turn, that special control is the cyclic pitch control. The pilot can use the control to slightly tilt the rotor blades in a particular direction, which makes the entire machine turn and move in that direction. The pilot’s movements are transported to the rotors by two disks called the upper and lower swash plates. This works because when the pilot pushes the controls the lower swash plate pushes the upper swash plate and the command is sent through by a control rod system. The fuselage of a helicopter is where the load of the helicopter is stored and it is where the pilot sits and controls the helicopter.

Electrical engineers could have contributed the final product because electrical wiring is needed to power the helicopter. Electrical wiring is also needed to make it move and to transmit signals from the cockpit to different parts of the machine. Aerospace engineers helped with this product because they’re needed to ensure that it has the correct weight and other properties so that it can lift off the ground and stay in the air. Since the helicopter is an advanced piece of technology that involves the use of some automated control systems and other automatic things, a computer science engineer would be needed to make sure that they work properly and efficiently.

In conclusion, the helicopter is an excellent machine for disaster relief because it can deliver necessary items and relief supplies to almost any place where it’s needed. It works by utilizing rotors and a complex control system. It is truly an amazing and efficient technology for disaster relief.