Energy & Sustainability
Merry go round airplane launcher

Lrg Merry Go Round Plane
Here’s a neat idea from Popular Science 1933, best tested on MythBusters now (they just tested if a plane could take off from a treadmill)… a merry go round airplane launcher, what do you think would happen? At least it would be more fun than most airport experiences – Link.

14 thoughts on “Merry go round airplane launcher

  1. Dunno ’bout that one, but in the golden age of airships (think Zeppelin, not Blimp) the US Navy had dirigible “carriers” with little biplane fighters. The hangar was inside the zeppelin, and the planes would launch and recover from a trapeze-type arrangement. Talk about white-knuckle flying!

  2. This problem with this arrangement is that the airplanes need to land as well. Otherwise it would be great — you could launch airplanes from a downtown airport.

  3. The US military did something similar during WWII. It was called the Brodie landing system.

    An arm swung out from the side of a ship and either dropped or caught a light observation plane. The L-4 Grasshopper (military Piper Cub) and L-5 Stinson Sentinel were among the planes to use this system.

    There was a similar rig used by the Army for flying in and out of remote locations.

    The arm didn’t swing around like the one shown above, but the ship was moving during this operation.

  4. @doc: When released, the plane does not fly away from the center, but on a tangential path.
    So if you attach it on the tail it would move sidewards, with one wing ahead.
    You could also attach it on one wing, but the inertia would be to great so you’d have to make that wing extremely massive.

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