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Why do helicopters have the small rotor on their tail?


It is the "action/reaction" of Newton's Third Law of Motion. The motor tries to turn the rotor, and the rotor pushes back on the motor. (Sounds like something Dr. Seuss wrote.) Without the tail rotor, the helicopter would spin in one direction while the top rotor spun in the other. Some of the big, transport helicopters, like the Boeing CH-46 Sea Knight, have two top rotors instead. That adds more lift, and still keeps the aircraft from spinning.