Jet Plane / Conveyor Belt Conundrum

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Jo2008, Sep 19, 2008.

  1. Jo2008

    Jo2008 New Member

    This isn't a particularly new or novel question but for those of you who maybe haven't seen it before this is always a fun topic of conversation!

    The question is:

    "A plane is standing on a runway that can move (some sort of conveyer belt). The plane moves in one direction, while the conveyer belt moves in the opposite direction. This conveyer belt has a control system that tracks the plane speed and tunes the speed of the conveyer to be exactly the same but in the opposite direction as the plane.

    Can the plane take off?"

  2. Mirage

    Mirage Administrator Staff Member V.I.P.

    I don't think so considering there would be no airflow under the plane to push it into the sky.

    Do you know the answer to this question or are you just taking guesses?
  3. Nightsurfer

    Nightsurfer ~Lucky 13 strikes again~

  4. Bananas

    Bananas Endangered Species

    As shown by Mythbusters.

    The plane gains its forward thrust from its propellers, so it is irrelevant what speed the runway surface moves as long as the air(<what the propellers use to move) is near stationary, the plane will always move forward and gain the airflow around its wings to fly. The wheels under the plane will spin twice as fast but they will have near zero effect on forward momentum.
  5. Malificus

    Malificus Likes snow

    I never understood why this needed debate.

    Planes are propelled by the propeller/jet. The wheels move freely. A conveyor belt only effects the latter, thereby having no effect on the speed of the plane once it has started.

    Also, I lol'd when the pilot thought he wouldn't take off.
  6. Wade8813

    Wade8813 Registered Member

    I was going to say yes, because I'm a cheater, and I thought of VTOL.

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