Thursday, August 10, 2006

Green Tea and Airplane Tyres

I ordered Set Lunch No. 1. It came with green tea. And so the waitress asked,

Hot or cold?


Hot or cold?


Panas atau dingin?

At which point my friend across the table couldn't take it any longer and said, "He wants it HOT, HOT!"

It worked.

Here's an interesting idea: An airplane's tyres prior to landing do not move - so it's speed is zero, but the airplane itself still moves at a pretty high speed, even upon hitting the tarmac.

Taking into account momentum, that resistance to change a state of motion, then things take time, even if it's a small amount of it, to wake up and move along. So, acceleration will be necessary, and things can't just jump to a high speed.

So, the airplane is landing. Let's say it decellerates from 200km/h to 100km/h as it hits the runway. At that same moment, the tyres take some time to accelerate from 0km/h to the 100km/h.

Which means: upon landing, the tyres are actually moving slower than the plane.

Teng Jian suggests that this may be rubber burning on the tarmac, which in itself is interesting - but what's even more interesting is that we usually think of burning rubber when tyres are locked, but in this case they're actually moving and gaining speed while still roasting.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we're about to land at Penang International Airport. Please return your seats to an upright position and ensure your safety belts are securely fastened. Do not be alarmed by the landing as our mutli-tonne chunk of metal will be moving faster than the dinky pieces of rubber that support it as it tumbles from the sky onto what is really just processed rock. Thank you for flying with us and we hope to see you again soon!"


Jkn said...

Haven't you noticed the plumes of atomised dust and rubber everytime it lands? It get's worse when landing with tailwind.. which results in 'square tyres' :p

PS. the word verification for this comment is TXSPM... Toxic SPM? Texas Spam?

AF said...

And the word verification for this reply is ZZJSREAR, which suggests that my rump is falling just asleep.

Not that inaccurate...