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kccustom

Can the plane take off?

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[size=2][color="Black"]Imagine a plane is sitting on a massive conveyor belt, as wide and as long as a runway. The conveyor belt is designed to exactly match the speed of the wheels, moving in the opposite direction. Can the plane take off?


Saw this on another forum, interesting answers.

My answer would be no.
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Only if there is enough air moving under or past the wings to create the appropriate amount of lift and a minimal amount of drag. It doesn't matter how fast the wheels go, because a planes ability to fly is governed by the laws of aerodynamics.

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[quote name='kccustom;746664'][size=2][color="Black"]Imagine a plane is sitting on a massive conveyor belt, as wide and as long as a runway. The conveyor belt is designed to exactly match the speed of the wheels, moving in the opposite direction. Can the plane take off?


Saw this on another forum, interesting answers.

My answer would be no.
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Yes; the ground speed is irrelevant. Aircraft do not drive the wheels; They are propelled by the thrusters and lift is dependent on air speed.

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I think this was discussed in the chat awhile ago lol. But my answer is still no. I don't think it would be able to take off because if the treadmill moves just as fast as the wheels then it won't move at all. Thus not allowing it to get any airspeed.

Edit: Did some googling and found [url="http://www.straightdope.com/columns/060203.html"]this[/url]. Seems that the way this particular question is worded makes the entire situation impossible. But worded differently it would be possible. If this source is correct of course lol.

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Guest navinjohnson
depends on the airplane...

If it is a Harrier, then vertical take-off for the win.

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Taking the question literal and not taking any other forces into consideration, if the opposing forces are equally strong they cancel each other out. Therefore the plane can't take off. It's as simple as that, physical science. ;)

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[quote name='Raiderfan001;746686']I think this was discussed in the chat awhile ago lol. But my answer is still no. I don't think it would be able to take off because if the treadmill moves just as fast as the wheels then it won't move at all. Thus not allowing it to get any airspeed.

Edit: Did some googling and found [url="http://www.straightdope.com/columns/060203.html"]this[/url]. Seems that the way this particular question is worded makes the entire situation impossible. But worded differently it would be possible. If this source is correct of course lol.[/quote]

Yes it was in the chat a few months ago; and that website you linked explains exactly why the plane CAN take-off

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[quote name='ReelFiles;746694']Taking the question literal and not taking any other forces into consideration, if the opposing forces are equally strong they cancel each other out. Therefore the plane can't take off. It's as simple as that, physical science. ;)[/quote]

The question isn't statics and dynamics; but rather fluid mechanics. the airspeed across the wings is what generates lift. The wheels don't have any bearing in the equation; if they did, then a float-plane wouldn't be able to take off against the current of a river.

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If the plane is on the conveyor belt, and it does not move from it's original location because of the wheels spinning freely, no lift is created by the winds, because there are no winds.

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The thrusters propel the aircraft through the air; not down the runway. The wheels merely hold the Fuselage above the surface of the runway; and thus play no role in the question, the wheels would merely have twice the angular velocity as compared to taking off on a regular runway.

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