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(metro.co.uk)   Man spends six months building a giant rubber-band-powered plane only to figure out the reason its never been done before. "The plane never got airborne. In fact at one point it went backwards"   (metro.co.uk) divider line 104
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16315 clicks; posted to Main » on 23 Oct 2006 at 3:55 PM (7 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2006-10-23 01:48:18 PM
 
2006-10-23 01:59:46 PM
A 2 second glance at the plane in question reveals why it didn't work: The guy used a standard aircraft prop. He needs to use a large, high pitched prop, JUST LIKE THE ONES THAT RUBBER POWERED MODEL AIRPLANES USE.

If you put a prop like that on a model airplane, suitably scaled down, it wouldn't fly either.
 
2006-10-23 02:08:49 PM
Did he have the same wing loading?
Did he have equivalent thrust?
A real modeler would've got it right.

I agree on the prop... it isn't to scale, and it looks like one that would power a large scale aerobatic plane with a gasoline engine.
 
2006-10-23 02:14:22 PM
dittybopper: A 2 second glance at the plane in question reveals why it didn't work: The guy used a standard aircraft prop. He needs to use a large, high pitched prop, JUST LIKE THE ONES THAT RUBBER POWERED MODEL AIRPLANES USE.

If you put a prop like that on a model airplane, suitably scaled down, it wouldn't fly either.


www.guillow.com


img.metro.co.uk
 
2006-10-23 02:51:33 PM
He should enlist the help of real modelers and make that thing R/C.
 
2006-10-23 03:58:48 PM
I have an uncle just like this guy. He spent a year building a perpetual motion machine whilst frothing at the mouth about gubmint conspiracies. He built some fairly cool stuff as well (that also failed to work in any useful way).

Some people are proof that it's possible to be fairly intelligent and completely retarded at the same time.
 
2006-10-23 03:59:33 PM
HERE COME THE EXPERTS!!
 
2006-10-23 03:59:49 PM
I bet he was gonna douse it with model airplane glue, light it on fire and let fly. That would have been sooooo cool.
 
2006-10-23 04:00:06 PM
If you give a brick enough thrust, it'll fly.

On a related note, did anybody else see the episode of NOVA where they reconstructed the glider designed and built by the inmates at a german POW camp? That was pretty awesome.
 
2006-10-23 04:01:19 PM
So he failed. But he failed spectacularly. That's really cool.
 
2006-10-23 04:01:56 PM
Actually some one has built a flying rubber band powered airplane.

http://www.rubberbandit.org/
 
2006-10-23 04:02:07 PM
In the picture, I don't see any controls. I mean I'm no expert at this sort of thing but cue the picture of the kid and the cutlery in the electrical outlet.
 
2006-10-23 04:02:18 PM
FTA: 'Then I got into the cockpit and one of my friends started to wind up the 30m [100ft] elastic band on the propeller, which was connected under the fuselage to the back of the plane.

He was going to sit in it?

This guy is farking lucky it didn't take off.

I don't think he thought his plan all the way through.
 
2006-10-23 04:03:24 PM
Dunsfold? That's the TopGear track... what do they just let anyone call up and request to use that airfield so they can just fart around.

/TG fan. w00t.
 
2006-10-23 04:03:35 PM
I don't consider it a successful day of model-airplaning unless at least one craft is uncontrollably belching fire.
 
2006-10-23 04:04:29 PM
he shoulda built a trebuchet for hurling old crappers down the street.
 
2006-10-23 04:04:36 PM
Obviously, he had taken lessons from the Wrong Brothers.
 
2006-10-23 04:04:43 PM
I used to have one of those. They never landed very well.
 
2006-10-23 04:05:23 PM
Torque and the weight of the rubber band got him.

What he needed, instead, was one big-ass, mother-lovin' bottle rocket...
 
2006-10-23 04:06:45 PM
Speaking of Top Gear, anybody know how Hammy's doing?
 
2006-10-23 04:08:12 PM
This guy obviously;

1) Watched too many Road Runner cartoons
2) Has too much free time on his hands
3) Has too much money
4) Doesn't have a wife.
 
2006-10-23 04:08:38 PM
If it was moving backwards, did they turn the prop the wrong way?

/Clockwise? I said COUNTER clockwise! gaahhh!
 
2006-10-23 04:09:43 PM
Darwin Award candidacy missed by THAT much . . .
 
2006-10-23 04:10:57 PM
From the looks of it ... it seems the prop has to much pitch as it looks almost flat.

/Not a aeronautical so I don't know
 
2006-10-23 04:11:52 PM
haha omg how cute.

i wish i had that much time and money.
 
2006-10-23 04:11:53 PM
What he should have done, first of all, is scaled down the weight of a human pilot to the model version, and then put a little lead weight or something on top of the model fuselage to mimic a real life pilot, and then he should have seen how far it flew.

I'd guess, not that far.

/ could have saved himself six months
// that's a lot of pints down at the pub
 
2006-10-23 04:13:12 PM
I'm just wondering if his calculations included the fact he was (apparently) sitting in the thing at the time. For something that's supposed to be that light, I can't imagine 150+ pounds being a small deal.

/see Homer? That's why your robot didn't work...
 
2006-10-23 04:13:52 PM
Notice the band goes to the top of the "motor" instead of the bottom.
 
2006-10-23 04:14:21 PM
Huhuhuhuh, cock pit. Uhhhuhuhuh.
 
2006-10-23 04:14:25 PM
Someone quick, call the Mythbusters!
 
2006-10-23 04:14:36 PM
Doubling the scale cubes the weight and HP required... It may have "flown" briefly with the proper torque, but unlikely.

/gyroplane builder
 
2006-10-23 04:15:00 PM
The Icelander
If you give a brick enough thrust, it'll fly.

Then you'll have one of these...
upload.wikimedia.org
 
2006-10-23 04:16:32 PM
he forgot the throwing part that's involved.
/dumbass idea to start with though
 
2006-10-23 04:17:41 PM
I bet if he put a giant paper clip on the nose, it would fly.

/next years project? Launching himself via a giant sling shot.
 
2006-10-23 04:19:20 PM
Build it out of foam and make it RC....

www.pinkfoamplanes.com

Clicky no pop
 
2006-10-23 04:19:34 PM
Danger Mouse no an ultra thin styrofoam P-51
 
2006-10-23 04:20:18 PM
can you see it? wind wind wind wind that thing up. woops hand slipped.. instant decapitation.

/hey the toys hurt when you wind them and it slips and hits a knuckle
//admits to still playing with balsa wood airplanes.
 
2006-10-23 04:20:33 PM
Der Poopflinger

Lol I remember those!
 
2006-10-23 04:22:26 PM
The Icelander

Good, I just read an article today that he was released from hospital.
 
2006-10-23 04:22:57 PM
in other news, things don't scale well.

when something gets bigger (say an ant) its mass increases as a cube function, its muscle strength increases as a square function. so 2x as big weighs 8x as much but is only 4x as strong. Something 10 times as big weighs 1000 times the original, but is only 10 times as strong.

how does a rubber band compare to animal muscle? hell if i know. I'd guess its a square function.
 
2006-10-23 04:23:04 PM
After Al Gore outlaws all the petrolium, this will be our main method of traversing long distances - so we better get busy and get it working, people!
 
2006-10-23 04:23:41 PM
This is why engineering should be left to engineers, and celebrities and retired professional athletes.

Other people should just sit nicely and watch...
 
2006-10-23 04:24:54 PM
Der Poopflinger

Danger Mouse no an ultra thin styrofoam P-51

Oh yea. I can also remember ones that had monster images/pics all over them. 25 cents at the corner store.

/good times. Damn good times.
 
2006-10-23 04:27:26 PM
Jument: I have an uncle just like this guy. He spent a year building a perpetual motion machine whilst frothing at the mouth about gubmint conspiracies.

Sounds like a guy I worked with at Sears during a summer in college. He was around 40 years old working as a salesman in the appliance dept. He swore he had a design for a perpetual motor. He explained that all you need is a motor, a generator, and an alternator. I was a physics major and tried my best to explain that it is impossible.

"and does this device make sound?"
"uh, yeah"
"and does this device create heat?"
"ummm probably"
"so where does the energy for that heat and sound come from?"
"well THATS not energy"
"AAaaarrghhhh!!!! (starts strangling)"
 
2006-10-23 04:27:37 PM
I like art.
I like science.
But I hate artists who think that just because they have a vision and a dream they can ignore the laws of physics.

/hate the idiot laser-pointers-on-the-moon guy
 
2006-10-23 04:27:38 PM
If you give a brick enough thrust, it'll fly.

Then you'll have one of these...


Why the hate for the F-4?

The Phantom was a kick-ass aircraft, especially for it's time. It served the US military spectacularly well in its 38 years of service, flying every traditional type of military mission and setting all kinds of records along the way.

We retired them in 1996 but they're such good aircraft that many countries still use them to this day.
 
2006-10-23 04:27:41 PM
2 grams

Same thing I first thought of. What kind of idiot would sit in this thing... it doesn't even have controls.

Besides wouldn't the force needed to properly torque that elastic band be a lot more than a person could provide?
 
2006-10-23 04:27:49 PM
This guy should be ashamed - Lawn Chair Larry did so much better....
 
2006-10-23 04:29:30 PM
The model is probably too heavy for the rubberband (which is also too heavy). And you'd have to crank a band that big pretty damn tight to even think of geting the propeller (which has the worng pitch) to spin quickly enough to provide any decent thrust.

You also have to throw the little models. I've tried, but standing starts don't even work with the little ones, so how would it work for a bigger, heavier version?
 
2006-10-23 04:29:31 PM
ChadM89: Why the hate for the F-4?


Actually, my dad was an avionics guy in an F-4 squadron during 'Nam. he used to say the same thing about them. Doesn't mean he hated them, but I think he liked the BUFFs better.
 
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