Paper Helicopter Experiment

Meet an enhanced, customizable version of the "classical" paper helicopter experiment proposed by G.E.P. Box in 1991.

Create your own unique paper helicopter experiment project by adjusting the default values for the low (-) and high (+) factor levels, or by varying the parameters of the paper helicopter design. Our paper helicopter template factory will produce the PDF templates required to conduct an experiment.

The Project Task

Customers of CHC (Cellulose Helicopter Company) have been complaining about limited flight time of their paper helicopters. A team of CHC engineers, pilots, managers and field representatives is formed to study how the standard CHC paper helicopter design might be modified to prolong the flight time without deterioration in stability and flying capacity.

A large number of factors that might affect the flight time are proposed during a brainstorming session, and the list is finally limited to 8 factors which are to be studied through a factorial experiment. The eight factors and their respected levels suggested by the team are listed in Table 1.
# Factors Levels
low ( - ) high ( + )
1 Material
2 Wing length
3 Body length
4 Body width
5 Paper clips
6 Folded wings
7 Taped body
8 Taped wings

Table 1: Factors and levels suggested for the CHC pilot study, see the DESIGN & ASSEMBLY section for more details. One can use custom values for the "-" and "+" factor levels. To create a unique project - select zero paper helicopters in the TEMPLATES section and generate the corresponding free PDF template - it will contain your custom choice of the parameters and factor levels. You can also edit cells in this table and print out this page.

Your task is to plan, run, analyze and document one or more factorial experiments with the aim to improve the CHC paper helicopter construction in order to prolong the flight time.

Unfortunately, CHC has a short budget (they have just invested $10 million in a new paper helicopter template factory) and does not have resources for more than a total of 25 experimental runs. The challenge is, using methods of experimental design and statistical analysis, and within the given budget, to infer as much meaningful information as possible to optimize the paper helicopter's flight time.

The Report

The results should be presented in a report directed towards the team of engeneers at CHC. All steps should be motivated and explained in such a way that the experiment can be reproduced and the analysis can be verified by following the report.

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