Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Plane vs. Treadmill

This I think was started over at the NYT according to Boing Boing, but here's the issue.

A plane is on a magic conveyor belt. This conveyor belt will keep the plane stationary as the throttle is increased to the engine. The wheels on the plan move at the exact speed of the conveyor belt.

Question is, once throttle is fast enough, will the plane take off?

I say no, planes leap into the air not off engine speed, but the amount of lift created as the air travels over the wing. (negative air pressure on top with even pressure on the bottom makes the plane climb)

However, the heavier the plane, the faster is must go and the bigger the wing to create significant lift over the plane. (Which is why a jumbo jet doesn't have the same engine/wing size as a little 2 seater cessna)

Doesn't matter how fast the engines are turning; if the plane isn't moving in relation to the ground, there isn't enough air going over the wings, no lift is created, and the plane just sits there. Sure, air is being sucked into the engine, but it's not being put over the wing to to generate lift.

1 comment:

Degolar said...

I agree.