Helicopter Cube and Solution Guide

Helicopter Cube

Greetings from Eau Claire, Wisconsin!  I’m up here chilling in my hotel room watching “Desperation” by Stephen King.  Tomorrow I’ll be boothing at NoBrandCon and I’m totally pumped!  Last night I stopped at home and a package was waiting for me.  Inside were two Helicopter Cubes from Mefferts.

Helicopter Cube mid twist

These Helicopter Cubesare addicting!

At first this puzzle looks like it turns like a Rubik’s 2×2 cube and that the corner wedges rotate but this puzzle actually twists by rotating the edges of the puzzle 180 degrees like this:

Jumbled Helicopter Cube

The puzzle can also transform and change shape.  I haven’t had the chance to fully jumble the puzzle in this way but here is an idea of how it turns.  Pretty cool huh?

After some playing I worked out a pretty good method of solving the Helicopter Cube.  I only timed myself once and it took almost 3 minutes.  I’m working on developing a set of algs as well as trying different methods.  I haven’t researched how others are solving the cube but so far I’m pretty happy with the method I’ve developed on my own.

Here is a breakdown of how I solve this puzzle.  Stop reading now if you want to keep the challenge for yourself :)

Jake’s Method for solving the Helicopter Cube Messed up Helicopter Cube

1. My first step is to match 4 center pieces on one side (intuitive):

Solve top center

2. Start placing top corner with adjacent center pieces (intuitive):

Corner piece with adjacent matching center pieces

Corner piece with adjacent matching center pieces

3. Repeat until first layer is complete (intuitive):

First Layer Solved

First Layer Solved

4. Solve remaining Center pieces(intuitive):

All Centers Solved

All Centers Solved

5. Permute corners:

Corners Correctly Positioned

Corners Correctly Positioned

I came up with an alg that cycles 3 corners UBR>UFL>UFR>UBR

I’m sure there is something shorter but this is the alg that I came up with on my own.

FR- FL-DR-DB-DL-DB-DR-FR-UR-FR-DR-DB-DL-FL-DB-DR-FR-UR

Yeah… long… I will try and dig up something shorter but using this I was able to position my remaining corners.

*UPDATE*

I figured out 2 more useful algs for permuting corners:

X PERM – Swaps UFR with UBL and UFL with UBR

(UR-UL-UB-UF)x3

= PERM – Swaps UFR with UFL and UBR with UBL

(UR-UL-UB)x6

Please not that Permutations will effect Orientation

6. Orientate corners:

Orientated Corners and Cube is Solved!

Orientated Corners and Cube is Solved!

The alg I came up with effects the UFL, UBL, and UBR corners. Do this move 3 times:

(UR-UB-UL-UF) x3

If you have only 2 corners that need to be flipped, position one of the incorrect corners in UFR spot and do the previous alg.  This will leave you with three corners you need to flip.

And thats it!  I’ll practice and research some more algs, and update the solution when I find more details.  Good luck and feel free to ask any questions about solving this puzzle.

This solution works for a cube that hasn’t transformed shape.  I’m not sure if any unique cases come up when jumbling the cube.


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5 Responses to “Helicopter Cube and Solution Guide”

  1. Mike says:

    I had been using almost exactly the same solve method (also developed independently, but it is a rather straight-forward method). I put the cube away for some time and recently picked it up again, scrambling it as much as possible and doing a lot of shape-shifting in the process.

    Surprisingly, I had a bit of a challenge returning the shape to a cube, but assumed that it was just because I had not played with it for a while and had forgotten how to get it back to square. Even more surprisingly, however, I found that I could not solve the cube anymore once I had made it back to the cube shape. I now seem to have parity errors that prevent intuitive solving of even a single center face!!!

    You are definitely correct to think that unique cases can arise from a jumble scramble. Hopefully I’ll be able to figure out how to get the thing solved again!

  2. Jake Rueth says:

    Hey Mike! Thanks for the post! I too have put the cube down for some time and last night I picked it back up again. I did scramble out of cube shaped and encountered the same problems that you have. I have come up with some moves that help me fix these issues but nothing easily documented. Basically I would create set up moves > execute a jumble move > restore. The easiest jumble move to make for me was to rotate the FL clockwise a half turn, Rotate the UR clockwise a half turn, then rotate the UF a full rotation. By half turn I mean rotate till that bar is in a jumble position.

    Using that move you can restore your centers back to normal.

    I hope this makes sense and good luck!

  3. Jerem says:

    You can :
    * Turn UBL>UFL>UFR with UF-UR-UB-UR-UF-UR-UB-UR.
    * rotate UFR and UFL at the same time with UF-UL-UR-UB-UL-UR-UF-UL-UR-UB-UL-UR.
    * rotate UFR and UBL at the same time with UL-UF-UL-UR-UB-UR-UL-UF-UL-UR-UB-UR.

    I hope i can help someone

    Jerem

  4. Jerem says:

    I forgot the most important, swap two corners like UFL and UFR with FL-UL-UF-(FL-UL)x3-UF-UL-FL-UL.

    Bye Jerem

  5. Jake Rueth says:

    Jeremy! Thanks so much for posting! These moves are great! I knew one of them but the other algs I didn’t know. You rock and thanks again for sharing :)

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