I think a better question might be: can an airplane take off in a wind-tunnel (though obviously a big tunnel with a very high roof) without moving forward?
Friday, February 1, 2008
Plane on a Conveyor Belt
This has been covered in many places, most recently live-blogged by Kottke as it was proven on Mythbusters. Google "plane+conveyor" and you get 485,000 results. For anyone who somehow missed this, there has been an impossibly huge argument about whether a plane on a conveyor belt could take off. Most people who argued that it couldn't mistakenly thought that a conveyor belt running the opposite direction of the airplane would somehow make the plane remain stationary with its wheels spinning, when in fact the wheels have nothing to do with how a plane propels itself. Taking off, the plane would act exactly the same as under normal circumstances but with its wheels spinning twice as fast. Enough.
Posted by Charlie at 5:43 PM