Another thought on the plane and the conveyor belt

The theory behind the Airplane on a Conveyor Belt myth is that the wheels don’t move and thus the plane never moves.

So the easier test to prove or disprove this myth would be to lock a plane down to the ground and see if the nose ever starts to point upwards, no matter what speed it would theoretically have attained had the wheels been spinning against the ground.

I’d like to see someone test that, which could easily be done with an RC plane, too.

Going back to the place where I first heard about the myth, I see the correct answer was the one originally posited.

One thought on “Another thought on the plane and the conveyor belt

  1. “So the easier test to prove or disprove this myth would be to lock a plane down to the ground and see if the nose ever starts to point upwards, no matter what speed it would theoretically have attained had the wheels been spinning against the ground.”

    Of COURSE it wouldn’t take off, cause there’s no way to get any wind over the wings! But that’s NOT the myth as stated!

    The thrust of the engine doesn’t care one bit what the wheels are spinning on, it’s GOING to push the plane forward. As long as the wheels can spin, the plane will move forward. As long as the plane can move forward, it will get air over the wings, and which it needs to take off.

    Tie it down, and there’s not going to be any wind over the wings. But the myth doesn’t lock the wheels down. They’re allowed to freely spin on the conveyor belt, which don’t effect the force of the engine on the air one bit.

Comments are closed.