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The aircraft and the conveyor belt

Brogan

XenForo moderator
Staff member
#1
If an aircraft is on a conveyor belt which moves backwards at the same rate of acceleration as the thrust provided by the aircraft's engine, will it take off?
 

Kier

XenForo Developer
Staff member
#3
What direction is the plane facing? With or against the direction of travel of the belt? And is the aircraft's engine currently providing that thrust, or is it switched off?
 

Brogan

XenForo moderator
Staff member
#6
What direction is the plane facing? With or against the direction of travel of the belt? And is the aircraft's engine currently providing that thrust, or is it switched off?
The aircraft is facing in the opposite direction of the belt travel.

The speed of the conveyor exactly matches the thrust (forward speed) of the aircraft engine.

Or to put it another way, the aircraft will appear stationary.
 

Trip

Active member
#9
Easy. The answer is yes because the thrust of the airplane engines acts on the air, not on the ground.

edit: lol, we posted at the same time
 

Brogan

XenForo moderator
Staff member
#15
MythBusters did this on their show and I believe they found that it could take off.

Jamie
The Mythbusters experiment was flawed as the conveyor did not move at the same speed as the thrust provided by the aircraft engine.

Imagine a car on a rolling road.
Now if that car is a plane and it isn't moving forward in space as the conveyor is moving as fast as the wheels are (powered by the thrust of the engine), will it take off?
 

Jamie

Well-known member
#16
Hum, I dunno then. I would still believe it would take off, but unless someone is able to perform a large scale experiment we won't know.

Of course, there is always the Harrier Jet... doesn't need a runway to take off! :)


Jamie
 

Trip

Active member
#17
It's easy when you google it hey? :D *checks wording on shelley and trips posts*
Yup, I remember an episode on "Myth Busters" was on the very topic and they were able to actually physically prove the plane would be able to lift off.
I remembered because I ended up in a very lengthy conversation with an engineer here at work (who, as luck would have it is a pilot) about that show. He told me more about the subject than I cared to know.
Consider ourselves lucky he is not on this forum, or else he would've pushed the max characters allowed in a post explaining why it can :p Of course its like anything, if the conditions are right anything is possible.
 

Jethro

Well-known member
#18
If an aircraft is on a conveyor belt which moves backwards at the same rate of acceleration as the thrust provided by the aircraft's engine, will it take off?
Only if that tree in the wood doesn't fall on top of it .... oops haven't had my drugs yet this morning .... er afternoon ...
 

CTXMedia

Formerly CyclingTribe
#19
+1 for Mythbusters ... cracking program. :)

Car analogy is flawed as it uses contact with the ground to enable its forward motion - plane uses air, so it doesn't matter what's happening to the ground underneath it. :)
 

Brogan

XenForo moderator
Staff member
#20
plane uses air, so it doesn't matter what's happening to the ground underneath it. :)
Yes it does as the aircraft wheels are in contact with the ground, which rotate once thrust is produced from the engine.

If the conveyor moves at the same speed as the wheels rotate...