Why does a helicopter have a propeller on its tail?

Before getting to know why helicopters have a propellor, let us first learn the meaning of propeller and helicopter before going.



  • It is a mechanical device used for the purpose of propelling a ship or aircraft.
  • It has a rotating hub with a rotating blade-like structure around the hub.
  • The movement of these blades occurs in a spiral or helical manner
  • These movements are used to create a thrust on the underlying surface.
  • The rotating blades offer great pressure on surfaces such as air and water.


  • A helicopter is a kind of aircraft vehicle that flies in the sky with the help of rotating and spinning wings known as blades.
  • A helicopter is a type of aircraft just like an aeroplane, but there are many significant differences between the two of them.
  • A helicopter can directly fly up and land down, unlike aeroplanes which require a runway to do both.
  • The major difference between both aircrafts is because of the mechanism used by them to fly up in the air.
  • Helicopters fly with the help of rotors or propellers present above them in the centre of the vehicle.
  • These rotors create a force responsible for lifting the helicopter in the air.
  • They are the main rotors of helicopters.

If the main rotors are responsible for the lifting of the helicopter, then what is the use of the rotor on its tail?

  • According to Newton’s third law of motion, every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
  • When the main rotors move at a great speed, along with it there will be a force acting on the helicopter forcing the helicopter to move in circles.
  • To counteract this force and prevent the circular motion of the helicopter, tail propellers are used.
  • Their main function is to stabilize this force.
  • This force is also called torque.

Fun Facts:

  1. Propeller blades at the tail of the helicopter are not the only way to stabilize the torque acting upon it.
  2. The sound heard by us when a helicopter travels above us is from the main rotors of the helicopter; this is often referred to as the wind cutting sound.
  3. A helicopter is able to fly up, down, forward, backward, sideways, and can also stop at one place in the air. That’s why during any sort of medical emergency, helicopters are preferred over aeroplanes.

Related Questions:

  1. Explain the use of a tail propellor in a helicopter.
  2. What are the advantages of a helicopter over an aeroplane?
  3. Which aircraft can reach greater heights while flying in the sky, Airplane or Helicopter?

True or False:

  1. Propeller is an anatomical device.
  2. The movement of propeller blades is in a spiral or helical way.
  3. A helicopter is a type of land vehicle.
  4. Aeroplanes and helicopters are similar vehicles with no difference.
  5. A helicopter needs a runway to take flight.

Objective Quiz:

  1. The aeroplane needs a ______ to lift off of the ground.
    1. Runway.
    2. Rail track.
    3. Ship block.
    4. Car parking.
  2. The tail propeller is used to equalize the _________.
    1. Torque acting on the helicopter.
    2. Torque acting on the ship.
    3. Torque acting on the car.
    4. None of the above.
  3. A propeller has a _________.
    1. Rotating hub and rotating blades around it.
    2. Just a rotating hub.
    3. Juts rotating blades.
    4. None of the above.
  4. A propeller moves in a ________.
    1. Spiral-Helical way.
    2. Spiral-triangular way.
    3. Triangular-Helical way.
    4. Spiral way.
  5. Rotating propellers offer a _______ on the surface.
    1. Thrust.
    2. Pushup.
    3. Pull-up.
    4. None of the above.

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