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Thread: At what point is research just plane stupid?

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    Seething Cauldron of Hatred TheAnimus's Avatar
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    At what point is research just plane stupid?

    So I was inspired by this: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-39284294

    To ask the question, what kind of things do we research which are absurdly stupid? In this case clearly the guy hasn't asked a pilot or an engineer for their thoughts.
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    Bows out! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    Re: At what point is research just plane stupid?

    How do you land on one??


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

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    Banhammer in peace PeterB kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: At what point is research just plane stupid?

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    How do you land on one??
    With difficulty. But they simulated that as well. Lots of documentation here:

    http://www.endlessrunway-project.eu/documents/index.php

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    Seething Cauldron of Hatred TheAnimus's Avatar
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    Re: At what point is research just plane stupid?

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    With difficulty. But they simulated that as well. Lots of documentation here:

    http://www.endlessrunway-project.eu/documents/index.php
    But they've completely ignored emergency procedures, if you've got an engine out the last thing you want to do is be landing on a curve making the rudder control even harder. Not to mention the gradient being very difficult and making the landing gears job harder, before we even consider the increased issue of a wing strike (ie starboard wing on a clockwise path) which is before we go on to increased loading and spin stalls.
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    Banhammer in peace PeterB kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: At what point is research just plane stupid?

    As mentioned, they simulated most of that - certainly wing strikes, landing gear loading etc. The forces experienced by passengers is higher, but still in the comfortable zone.

    Rudder control on a straight runway in a crosswind is likewise hard if you've got problems, but this design greatly reduces the impact of crosswinds and replaces it with a fixed radius curve.

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    Re: At what point is research just plane stupid?

    What's stupid about this? A lot of research gets reported by the media as stating the bleeding obvious, but sometimes it questions what seems obvious - and that's one of the jobs of science research, to find out what we take for granted that is and isn't valid. Some of it is spurious, like mathematicians being paid to work out the optimal monopoly strategy, or what speed to walk with a cup of tea to stop it overflowing - but that's just the stuff that sticks out, and it's not quite a lock that even spurious research can provide otherwise useful results.

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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Re: At what point is research just plane stupid?

    Next I want to see a circular aircraft carrier

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    Re: At what point is research just plane stupid?

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    Next I want to see a circular aircraft carrier
    Terrible shape to cut through the water but it got me thinking about whether you could have a rotating ship/ekranoplan/flying saucer that uses ground effect to stay just above the surface.

    More importantly, the rotating runway could act in a similar way to a treadmill and would enable pointless arguments about whether or not a plane would be able to take off from it.

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    Re: At what point is research just plane stupid?

    This sounds like an idea you would research for maybe one evening; in a pub!

    Thinking about the treadmill problem, one answer could be giant fans! Create a consistent 170mph wind and then aircraft can "hover" and land on a much smaller runway!

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    Re: At what point is research just plane stupid?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerrard View Post
    This sounds like an idea you would research for maybe one evening; in a pub!

    Thinking about the treadmill problem, one answer could be giant fans! Create a consistent 170mph wind and then aircraft can "hover" and land on a much smaller runway!
    They are already using giant fans in many parts of the US to increase the speed of the earth's rotation. This is why the days are shorter now. It's about stopping global warming.

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    Re: At what point is research just plane stupid?

    Maybe put the giant fan on the aircraft so it can lift itself?

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    Re: At what point is research just plane stupid?

    Why not have a spiralled runway going into the earth?

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    Seething Cauldron of Hatred TheAnimus's Avatar
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    Re: At what point is research just plane stupid?

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    Rudder control on a straight runway in a crosswind is likewise hard if you've got problems, but this design greatly reduces the impact of crosswinds and replaces it with a fixed radius curve.
    As I said thou, imagine emergency procedures due to engine out. It would be very poor.

    They didn't model (that I saw) the issues of additional drag and stall.

    But mostly, cross wind landings are hard often because of gusts of wind. If it's constant enough wind and within limits it's really easy. If it's gusting then, well, then it's more challenging. The highest cross wind landing I've ever made was a greaser because the wind was suddenly constant and tower kindly gave me running wind speeds during my approach. I would hate to do this on a curve it's hard enough in a straight line.
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    RIP Peterb ik9000's Avatar
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    Re: At what point is research just plane stupid?

    Ditto to all the derision and scorn being poured on this idea. I am highly cynical towards this.

    And to answer the title question - I'm afraid I'd have to look into that some more: gather balanced and controlled information together, then review it dispasionately with analysis and interogation. Only then could I draw sufficient conclusions to provide a meaningful response. I shall call this process...

    .... research.

    Shall we set up a committee to review whether we need a committee to research whether any research is needed?

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    Re: At what point is research just plane stupid?

    The guy who dreamt the idea mentioned the word centrifugal forces. Surely this is a basic error in Physics as there is no such thing.

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    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: At what point is research just plane stupid?

    Quote Originally Posted by Top_gun View Post
    The guy who dreamt the idea mentioned the word centrifugal forces. Surely this is a basic error in Physics as there is no such thing.
    *ahem*

    https://xkcd.com/123/


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