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A plane on a treadmill - physics question

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by Andy D, Mar 5, 2020.

  1. Andy D

    Andy D Very Active Member

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    I have my own answer for this, but I want to see what others think.
    A word of warning: This has started some heated arguments on my FB page.

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Dan360

    Dan360 Member

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    I remember this one lol. Short answer is yes, the wheels are basically irrelevant.
     
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  3. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    As long as it can create lift the plane will fly. If the belt was moving in the same direction at the same speed then the plane would be standing still right? Moving in the opposite direction I guess still moves the plane.
     
  4. GB2

    GB2 Very Active Member

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    Of course not....if the plane is not moving then there is no forward thrust...then there is no air moving under the wings to create lift...therefore it sits there making a lot of noise and going nowhere, or so you might think...
    but the reality is that the wheels only allow the plane to roll on the ground and are not providing that forward thrust like the wheels of a car might do, so the plane will move forward right off the conveyor and take off
     
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  5. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Who drew that stupid plane ?? That's an even better question.

    Can a man living east of the Mississippi River be buried west of the Mississippi River ??​
     
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  6. Andy D

    Andy D Very Active Member

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    D@mn it Gino, Start your own post!:confused:
     
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  7. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Well, I looked it up and now my head exploded. I'm going back to my table to mindlessly weed letters and try to repair my brain.
     
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  8. eahicks

    eahicks Magna Cum Laude - School of Hard Knocks

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    The plane will not fly. It will fall off the end of the belt. No one said the plane's engines were even on. And correct, the wheels are irrelevant.
     
  9. GAC05

    GAC05 Major Contributor

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    It's all about the speed of the air passing over/under the wing so the real question is - what would happen if they tried this on the moon.....
     
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  10. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

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    "I'll take goofy questions for $500".
    Airplane wheels only move when the plan's engines have thrust to push the plane forward. Unlike a car that has a drive shaft to the differential and axle.
    So the conveyor belt would move the plane backwards.
    For the belt and wheels to be going same speed it would be landing.
     
  11. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    :popcorn:
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2020
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  12. Andy D

    Andy D Very Active Member

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    There is only one thing I know for sure, for the plane to accelerate forward & create lift,
    its wheels MUST be moving faster than surface it is taking off from, there's no getting around that.
    If the treadmill is matching the speed of the wheels, then it would be like a plane on a real runway with its wheels locked.
     
  13. unclebun

    unclebun Very Active Member

  14. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    Wow, it's mighty good that the steer wheel didn't snag a hole in the mother-of-all-conveyor belts and tumble arse over tea kettle.


    JB
     
  15. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    Nope.
    Plane uses jet/prop to move pull itself through the air. The wings generate lift, but not without forward motion. The wheels keep the bottom parts from dragging on the ground, that's pretty much it. Landing on a larger jet does not even utilize breaks, the loud squawk when the wheels hit the ground is them going from 0 to 500 mph instantly (idk how fast jets land).
    So if a plane is setting on a treadmill, starting from 0 miles an hour, and the thrust of the engines brings it up to what would be 10 miles an hour, then the magic treadmill would be also going 10 miles an hour backwards, but the wheels would be clocking 20 mph as they spun first from the treadmill and then second from the jet engine moving the plane through the air forward.
    *assuming zero friction.
     
  16. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

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    A plane that takes off on the water has no wheels, a glider is pull by another plane to get lift.
    Chuck Yeager was in a plane that was drop from another plane to break the sound barrier for the first time.
     
  17. Andy D

    Andy D Very Active Member

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    I understand perfectly that the engines thrust is independent from the ground, but they got it wrong, when he took his hand and pushed the car, the wheels were traveling faster than the treadmill.
    In reality if he pushed that car and the wheels sped up, the treadmill would match instantly, forcing the wheels to speed up, which the treadmill would match... On and on, they would compound each others speed in an instant... If the treadmill had no limit to speed, it would be like splitting an atom, a uncontrollable chain reaction.
     
  18. GAC05

    GAC05 Major Contributor

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    To translate into sign-language:
    Could Eric, The Vector Doctor, vectorize that drawing before the hypothetical 747 generated enough forward speed to lift off the treadmill?
     
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  19. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    How about imagining a set of wheels with no friction. How would the treadmill move the plane backwards, if the wheel just spun when the treadmill was turned on. Now, throw a jetpack onto that plane. It will go forward due to the jetpack, and the wheel with no friction will do its thing and spin away.
    The plane works the same way, because the jet overcomes the friction of the wheels by some incredible factor.
     
  20. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    This more reminds me of the time I tried to figure out how to erect a 100' pole without a crane, just pulleys and a pivot on the pole... This still keeps me up at night
     
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