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New 'does the plane take off' topic!


monkeyseemonkeydo
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Ok, so came across this on 'I f**king love Science' and it's got the grey matter working.

The logic behind the reason it could/should operate is fair enough but the explanation of how/why it might work doesn't really follow in my mind and it reminded me of the aeroplane/treadmill classic but with a twist. Definitely an interesting one...

 

 

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I was watching this a few days back, I understand it does work, but my brain can't handle it. It's like an optical illusion but for my brain.

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It's something that I can get that the theory means is should work (and also at model scale as shown on the actual treadmill) but at full scale on a somewhat rickety vehicle with bearings and chains and imbalance and an 80kg passenger I'd be surprised if that could do it. Having said that it's odd that none of their explanations mention the rotating prop sees a totally different air speed to the wind that the vehicle sees...

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I can see how it would work (I think) I suspect gear ratios between the wheels and propeller relative to ground speed plays a big roll. In my head once it hits wind speed the wheels are turning the propeller at speed X so the car is sat in neutral air but the propeller is cutting through it at speed Y creating thrust and propelling the vehicle faster. The faster the wheels go the faster the propeller rotates thus more speed until a tipping point is reached where drag physical and aerodynamic cannot be overcome by thrust from the propeller. It seems more a clever use of gearing and aerodynamics on the propeller to gain the speed from energy taken from the propeller cutting through the air which is turned to forward motion 

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