Birdwatching
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Could An Airplane Fly By Magnets On The Roof?

Sat Jul 16, 2005 5:34 am

Ever since I've been a child, I've thought about this:

What keeps a plane from flying all by itself without any fuel, if you would have some kind of roof rack with magnets on top of it?

Please don't call me dumb or a nut or all that stuff. Apparently it DOESN'T work, otherwise it would have been done before. I thought about it when I was a little child. Children do make up funny things.


My point is, can anybody give me a physical explanation WHY it doesn't work? And dont thell me it's because the plane is not magnetic. (Aluminum?) They would have to make it from sheet metal then.

The magnets would pull up the plane, and at the same time rise at the same rate themselves, because they are attached to the plane. It would have to be one hell of a big magnet, I know that.

Please, can somebody shead some light on this matter. And please hold all the "You are stupid" posts. I know I am!
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flyAUA
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RE: Could An Airplane Fly By Magnets On The Roof?

Sat Jul 16, 2005 5:44 am

Quoting Birdwatching (Thread starter):
The magnets would pull up the plane

But nothing would pull up the magnets... that's why it wouldn't work  Wink
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Birdwatching
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RE: Could An Airplane Fly By Magnets On The Roof?

Sat Jul 16, 2005 5:46 am

Quoting FlyAUA (Reply 1):
But nothing would pull up the magnets... that's why it wouldn't work

Sure, nothing would pull them, but the fuselage would push the magnets up with it, wouldn't it?
All the things you probably hate about travelling are warm reminders that I'm home
 
flyAUA
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RE: Could An Airplane Fly By Magnets On The Roof?

Sat Jul 16, 2005 5:53 am

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 2):
Sure, nothing would pull them, but the fuselage would push the magnets up with it, wouldn't it?

Now you are confusing me. Do you want the magnets to pull the plane up or the fuselage to push the magnets away?

P.S. I can't believe I am even trying to discuss this  rotfl 
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air2gxs
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RE: Could An Airplane Fly By Magnets On The Roof?

Sat Jul 16, 2005 5:55 am

The magnets would need to be attracted to something.

Place a magnet on a hot wheels car (I assume they're still magnetic metal). Does it magically rise into the air? No. Why not? Because they is no force above the magnet that the magnet is attracted to.
 
FlyingTexan
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RE: Could An Airplane Fly By Magnets On The Roof?

Sat Jul 16, 2005 5:57 am

Think about physics. And the phenomenon of trying to get more energy as an output verses input...

 spin 
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Birdwatching
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RE: Could An Airplane Fly By Magnets On The Roof?

Sat Jul 16, 2005 5:57 am

Quoting FlyAUA (Reply 3):
Now you are confusing me. Do you want the magnets to pull the plane up or the fuselage to push the magnets away?

Okay, let's see. Let's say you were really big, like King Kong. Now you'd be holding a big magnet in your hands. The plane would cling to it, there's no doubt about that, right? OK, now before giving the plane a chance to actually cling to the magnets, you would rise the magnet at the same rate. The plane would fly, right? OK, now put King Kong onto the plane, and replace him by a roof rack. Technically it's the same, IMO.
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TedTAce
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RE: Could An Airplane Fly By Magnets On The Roof?

Sat Jul 16, 2005 5:58 am

Quoting FlyAUA (Reply 3):
can't believe I am even trying to discuss this

The end of this thread has "SUCKER" Written all over it... just for that Birdwatching.... do this...place a piece of steel (or Iron) in your mouth, then put an 'earth' magnet on your head... Make sure you can feel the two drawing together as you jump off the top of a 7 story parking garage... let us know how it goes!!
This space intentionally left blank
 
Birdwatching
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RE: Could An Airplane Fly By Magnets On The Roof?

Sat Jul 16, 2005 6:00 am

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 7):
let us know how it goes!!

Thanks a lot. I was trying to get enlightened by some physical explanation, and somebody had to come and trash the thread. You feel better now, right?
All the things you probably hate about travelling are warm reminders that I'm home
 
flyAUA
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RE: Could An Airplane Fly By Magnets On The Roof?

Sat Jul 16, 2005 6:02 am

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 6):
Okay, let's see. Let's say you were really big, like King Kong. Now you'd be holding a big magnet in your hands. The plane would cling to it, there's no doubt about that, right? OK, now before giving the plane a chance to actually cling to the magnets, you would rise the magnet at the same rate. The plane would fly, right? OK, now put King Kong onto the plane, and replace him by a roof rack. Technically it's the same, IMO.

Yes ok I understood that but if you want the aircraft to go higher (and fly like you called it) the magnets also have to go higher! And that's not just going to happen out of the blue. I think I'll stick with fuel!
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Newark777
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RE: Could An Airplane Fly By Magnets On The Roof?

Sat Jul 16, 2005 6:06 am

Okay, let's see. Let's say you were really big, like King Kong. Now you'd be holding a big magnet in your hands. The plane would cling to it, there's no doubt about that, right? OK, now before giving the plane a chance to actually cling to the magnets, you would rise the magnet at the same rate. The plane would fly, right? OK, now put King Kong onto the plane, and replace him by a roof rack. Technically it's the same, IMO.

No, it's not, since "King Kong" is supported by the ground, while the roof rack would be supported by the plane. In your theory, all the effort used to life the plane would just be pushed back down on the roof via the rack. Leaving you sitting still on the ground.

Harry
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flyAUA
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RE: Could An Airplane Fly By Magnets On The Roof?

Sat Jul 16, 2005 6:09 am

Where's the DUDE YOU'RE DRUNK pic? Big grin
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FlyingTexan
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RE: Could An Airplane Fly By Magnets On The Roof?

Sat Jul 16, 2005 6:11 am

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 7):

Ted –

Calm down. Bird started the thread to open some dialogue.

To paraphrase – he mentioned several times ‘children come up with crazy things’ and ‘hold the crap.’

My gawd!

  

[Edited 2005-07-15 23:25:42]
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Braybuddy
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RE: Could An Airplane Fly By Magnets On The Roof?

Sat Jul 16, 2005 6:13 am

I'm not sure if I have you right, but are you saying that if magnets were attached to the roof of a plane why wouldn't it fly? You would have to have something placed along the route to attract the magnets, which would work out very expensive.

There's nothing wrong about asking seemingly silly questions and you are right in thinking outside the box: that is how new inventions come about. The original thinking on monorail trains running above the rail by magnets was thought to be the future of rail travel, but then it was realised that it would be far too expensive having to magnetise whole railway lines. Then some bright spark realised that you could reverse the process and put the magnets on the trains instead. Obviously the technology hasn't improved enough to see maglev trains taking over from standard rail, but it'll probably happen in the future.

With oil prices rocketing and eventually running out, other ways of flying planes will be needed, so who knows, planes suspended in the air by magnets or some other forces may come in time. As for your idea being ridiculous: who could have imagined 100 years ago that moving pictures of live events on the far side of the world could be sent up into space and beamed back down to a small glass box in your front room. Practically nothing is too far-fetched to be dismissed!

[Edited 2005-07-15 23:14:23]
 
Newark777
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RE: Could An Airplane Fly By Magnets On The Roof?

Sat Jul 16, 2005 6:16 am

I'm not sure if I have you right, but are you saying that if magnets were attached to the roof of a plane why wouldn't it fly? You would have to have something placed along the route to attract the magnets, which would work out very expensive.

Yes, the only way it would work is if some 30,000 foot high monorail track to attract the magnets was built. With that price, though, you may as well just build an ordinary monorail.

Harry

[Edited 2005-07-15 23:17:09]
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aerobalance
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RE: Could An Airplane Fly By Magnets On The Roof?

Sat Jul 16, 2005 6:24 am

Are you saying the magnets are an energy source or a conduit for energy? Then, where would the energy come from? Like the bumper sticker says- Ass, Gas or Grass, nobody rides for free.
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FlyingTexan
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RE: Could An Airplane Fly By Magnets On The Roof?

Sat Jul 16, 2005 6:29 am

Quoting Aerobalance (Reply 15):
Like the bumper sticker says- Ass, Gas or Grass, nobody rides for free

I like that bumper sticker!  Wink

===
The support structure will exhort more force than the magnets!

 spin 
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Birdwatching
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RE: Could An Airplane Fly By Magnets On The Roof?

Sat Jul 16, 2005 6:33 am

Ok. Now here's a similar idea which really would work. Imagine a room that has magnets on the ground, and then your bed, chair, and table have magnets on the bottom, but in a way that they push the other magnets.

Now your whole furniture would be floating, right? Like the monorail. Wouldn't that be cool? Or would it damage your brain?
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Newark777
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RE: Could An Airplane Fly By Magnets On The Roof?

Sat Jul 16, 2005 6:39 am

Ok. Now here's a similar idea which really would work. Imagine a room that has magnets on the ground, and then your bed, chair, and table have magnets on the bottom, but in a way that they push the other magnets.

It would probably be better to put the magnets on the top, or they would probably flip upside down.  Wink

Interesting, but I don't think it would serve any practical purpose.

Harry
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aerobalance
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RE: Could An Airplane Fly By Magnets On The Roof?

Sat Jul 16, 2005 6:41 am

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 17):
Wouldn't that be cool?

There may be some heat build-up there, so it may not be cool...

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 17):
Or would it damage your brain?

Damage whose brain?  Wink
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yhmfan
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RE: Could An Airplane Fly By Magnets On The Roof?

Sat Jul 16, 2005 6:45 am

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 17):
Or would it damage your brain?

Please tell me you have not participated in this experiment!!!!!.... or may be.......  Wink

All kidding aside, I love your sense of humour. This is a funny thread.
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Newark777
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RE: Could An Airplane Fly By Magnets On The Roof?

Sat Jul 16, 2005 6:47 am

This reminds me of that old pigeons-in-a-747 thread from way back. Anyone have a link to that one?

Harry
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bhill
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RE: Could An Airplane Fly By Magnets On The Roof?

Sat Jul 16, 2005 6:48 am

Actually...about the magnets in the floor...it's kind of how Maglev trains work
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Logan22L
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RE: Could An Airplane Fly By Magnets On The Roof?

Sat Jul 16, 2005 7:29 am

I haven't laughed this hard in a while. Thanks. Seriously Birdwatcher, I'm not sure whether you have the potential to become one of the most innovative engineers of all time or if your first project would be to construct a bridge out of Jell-O and Tampax.

Quoting Newark777 (Reply 21):
This reminds me of that old pigeons-in-a-747 thread from way back. Anyone have a link to that one?

Harry: I'll post the link if you swear you'll base your opinion of Ted Kennedy on what he's accomplished, not what Saturday Night Live parodies have been done on him.  Wink

http://www.airliners.net/discussions...neral_aviation/read.main/730650/4/

BTW, this pigeon thread pre-dates both of us, but nice use of the subjunctive in the thread title.
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aloges
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RE: Could An Airplane Fly By Magnets On The Roof?

Sat Jul 16, 2005 7:41 am

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 17):
Now your whole furniture would be floating, right? Like the monorail.

No, it would flip upside down and stick to the floor. If you put magnets on the ground that push your bed up and magnets on the ceiling that pull your bed up, it would still flip. You could of course try to prevent the bed from flipping, then it could work.

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 17):
Wouldn't that be cool?

Only if you managed to not get squashed by the bed.  Wink

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 17):
Or would it damage your brain?

Better not tell anyone undergoing an MRI if that's the case!

Quoting Logan22L (Reply 23):
I'm not sure whether you have the potential to become one of the most innovative engineers of all time or if your first project would be to construct a bridge out of Jell-O and Tampax.

That's so McGyver!  rotfl 
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Newark777
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RE: Could An Airplane Fly By Magnets On The Roof?

Sat Jul 16, 2005 8:08 am

Harry: I'll post the link if you swear you'll base your opinion of Ted Kennedy on what he's accomplished, not what Saturday Night Live parodies have been done on him.

I think I can live with that.  Wink

Anyway, it does indeed predate us, and the only reason I know about it is that it always pops up in every one of these "could this be done" discussions. Big grin

Harry
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Logan22L
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RE: Could An Airplane Fly By Magnets On The Roof?

Sat Jul 16, 2005 8:14 am

Quoting Newark777 (Reply 25):
Anyway, it does indeed predate us, and the only reason I know about it is that it always pops up in every one of these "could this be done" discussions

I found the link in "Site Related," in a thread started by TheCoz: "Thread of the Year." Somehow, I remembered it was in there.

Quoting Aloges (Reply 24):
That's so McGyver!

Even McGyver might have a few issues with this spec.
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Birdwatching
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RE: Could An Airplane Fly By Magnets On The Roof?

Sat Jul 16, 2005 6:40 pm

Quoting Aloges (Reply 24):
You could of course try to prevent the bed from flipping, then it could work.

I would install a sort of rail that would hold the bed, vertically. Imagine jumping into that bed. It would smoothly suspend the impact.
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backfire
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RE: Could An Airplane Fly By Magnets On The Roof?

Sat Jul 16, 2005 7:13 pm

Birdwatching:

Despite the smart-arse remarks, it's interesting that no-one here seems to have made a serious attempt to answer your original question. Makes me wonder if some people actually know.  

The magnet idea won't work for one simple reason: Newton's Third Law of Motion. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Although the magnet would attract the fuselage upwards, the fuselage would also be attracting the magnet downwards. These two effects would cancel themselves out.

Think of it this way: Sit on a chair, grab the sides of the chair with your arms, and then try to use your arms to lift yourself and the chair off the ground. It's exactly the same situation. You're the magnet, the chair is the aeroplane.

The problem is this - when you pull upwards on the chair there is an equal and opposite reaction force downwards. This is Newton's Third Law of Motion. As you pull upwards with your arms, the reaction force simply presses the rest of your body harder against the seat of the chair. These two forces cancel one another out. This cancellation means there's no remaining force to lift you off the ground.

There's a similar question which says: Why not put a big fan on a sailing boat - when there's no wind, you can turn on the fan and use it to blow the sails along?

It doesn't work for the same reason. As the fan blows the air forwards, an equal-opposite reaction force tries to push the fan backwards. These opposing forces cancel one another and, again, there's no result.

The only way to overcome this is to make sure that the reaction force works in your favour. A rocket doesn't lift itself into the sky - the lift is simply the reaction force to the thrust of the engines pushing in the opposite direction.

You CAN lift yourself and the chair off the ground. But you have to make the reaction force work FOR you. You don't do it by using your arms - you do it by using your feet to push against the floor. The reaction force then pushes you upwards.

[Edited 2005-07-16 12:25:21]
 
Logan22L
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RE: Could An Airplane Fly By Magnets On The Roof?

Sat Jul 16, 2005 9:03 pm

Quoting Backfire (Reply 28):
You're the magnet, the chair is the aeroplane.

"Oh, 'an aeroplane'. Oh, I say, we are grand, aren't we? (imitation posh accent) 'Oh, oh, no more buttered scones for me, mater. I'm off to play the grand piano'. 'Pardon me while I fly my aeroplane.' Now get on the table!"
"The deeper you go, the higher you fly. The higher you fly, the deeper you go."
 
FlyingTexan
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RE: Could An Airplane Fly By Magnets On The Roof?

Sun Jul 17, 2005 12:23 am

Quoting Backfire (Reply 28):
it's interesting that no-one here seems to have made a serious attempt to answer your original question.

Check reply #16
"Wouldn't your boss like to fly home nonstop at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon?" -Airline Exec to Congressional Staffer
 
Gary2880
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RE: Could An Airplane Fly By Magnets On The Roof?

Sun Jul 17, 2005 1:01 am

i have another one if i may chime in.

for years i thought it would be faster to cross the atlantic by staying still, if the time diffrence between london and new york is 5 hours that means it takes earth 5 hours to rotate from 1 point to the other, so why not just get a realllly big helicopter with a huge fule tank, fly up to 5,000ft or whatever, go into a hover and wait for the earth to rotate around you then you would reach new york faster than you would by taking a 747, but i guess it wouldnt work for some reason.

i realize getting back may take a bit longer and cause more of a problem

but yeah, it sounded like a good idea at the time !
Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel :- Samuel Johnson
 
Newark777
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RE: Could An Airplane Fly By Magnets On The Roof?

Sun Jul 17, 2005 1:05 am

"Oh, 'an aeroplane'. Oh, I say, we are grand, aren't we? (imitation posh accent) 'Oh, oh, no more buttered scones for me, mater. I'm off to play the grand piano'. 'Pardon me while I fly my aeroplane.' Now get on the table!"

 rotfl  Oh God, you had me on the ground with that one! Big grin

Despite the smart-arse remarks, it's interesting that no-one here seems to have made a serious attempt to answer your original question. Makes me wonder if some people actually know.

Despite your long-winded and unnecessary reply, you would have noticed that the question was answered, had you actually read the entire thread.  Yeah sure

Harry
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Logan22L
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RE: Could An Airplane Fly By Magnets On The Roof?

Sun Jul 17, 2005 1:15 am

Quoting Newark777 (Reply 32):
Oh God, you had me on the ground with that one!

You'll have to thank Graham Chapman for that one, but you can't. He's dead.
"The deeper you go, the higher you fly. The higher you fly, the deeper you go."
 
backfire
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RE: Could An Airplane Fly By Magnets On The Roof?

Sun Jul 17, 2005 1:17 am

Quoting Newark777 (Reply 32):
Despite your long-winded and unnecessary reply, you would have noticed that the question was answered, had you actually read the entire thread.

Er...no it wasn't. Had you actually read the entire thread, you'd have realised that. Or perhaps you believed the earlier explanations?  



"Oh, 'an aeroplane'. Oh, I say, we are grand, aren't we? (imitation posh accent) 'Oh, oh, no more buttered scones for me, mater. I'm off to play the grand piano'. 'Pardon me while I fly my aeroplane.' Now get on the table!"

Your momma  Wink

[Edited 2005-07-16 18:22:49]
 
Newark777
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RE: Could An Airplane Fly By Magnets On The Roof?

Sun Jul 17, 2005 1:26 am

Er...no it wasn't. Had you actually read the entire thread, you'd have realised that. Or perhaps you believed the earlier explanations?

Yes, I read it, because I had a rather simple yet correct explanation in reply 10. Just because you spent all the time writing out your explanation doesn't mean you're the only one who's correct. You are the one who seemed to have just skipped the entire thread and decided to write your own explanation.

Your momma

Wouldn't that be "Your mum" for you?  Wink

Harry

[Edited 2005-07-16 18:27:20]
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