If it\’s got an engine. . .

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Archive for February, 2006

Another off-the-wall idea

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on February 28, 2006


I’ve been fascinated with airplanes as long as I can remember, yet I’ve flown surprisingly few times. Once in a Cessna 152 for an introductory pilot training lesson and a handful of times in commercial jets (mostly flying for job interviews when I was getting out of the Navy).

So here’s the idea. Airplanes can be built with very low stall speeds – on the order of 15 to 20 miles per hour. That’s airspeed, not ground speed – the airplane doesn’t know or care how fast it’s moving in relation to the ground. What keeps if off the ground is lift generated by airflow across the airfoil-shaped wing.

An airplane that will fly at 15 mph will fly perfectly still into a 15 mph headwind.

So if we manage to get air flowing across the wing (with multiple props) at greater than stall speed, and we counter the forward thrust with props blowing forward (creating reverse thrust), will the airplane lift off with no forward movement?

I understand that there are some tweaks necessary, such as ensuring that the wing is at the center of gravity (so the tail doesn’t fall), etc.

Once in the air, the rear-mounted props can be slowed, allowing the plane to start moving forward.

What do you think?

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On an unrelated note, I’ve added some new links over on the sidebar.

Raceology – If you’re interested in the “how it works” or “why it works” aspect of racing and race engines, this is definitely worth a read. It’s obvious that Don really knows his stuff.

Visions – That’s University of Missouri-Rolla’s eye on research, a technology blog. Also a must-read.

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I threw a car away this weekend

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on February 17, 2006


A Corvette even.

Not gave away or hauled off to the junkyard, but threw away.


Executive Car Service provides corporate Dallas limo service and luxury DFW International airport transportation throughout the Dallas Metropolitan area.


Some background:
A friend of mine wrecked his 1985 Corvette in 1988 and it’s been sitting at his sister’s house ever since. She wanted it out of her yard, he didn’t want to deal with it. So he gave it to me in exchange for boat storage for the winter.

We stripped it of all parts that could be sold on Ebay, and cut the rest into smallish chunks and hauled it to the dump.

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Some pretty cool memorabilia over at ‘The Garage’

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on February 7, 2006


Gary Grant over at The Garage has posted a few pretty cool racing programs from the ’60s.

1965 24 hours at LeMans

1964 European Gran Prix

Makes me jealous.

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The Open Source Car.

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on February 6, 2006


From the “I wish I had thought of that” file.

A group of guys got together and decided that there needed to be an open source car. If you’re not familiar with the term ‘open source’, check out this Wikipedia entry.

Thus was formed OScar.


Executive Car Service provides corporate Dallas limo service and luxury DFW International airport transportation throughout the Dallas Metropolitan area.


Well, not really formed. The idea began in 1999, but they haven’t come up with ANY firm specifications yet.

Please check it out and give them a hand. I think this is a great idea in need of someone to lead it.

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