Avengers helicraft still pie in the sky, say students at University of Leicester

Posted by pt91 at Jun 28, 2013 12:50 PM |
Latest Physics Special Topics study demonstrates that massive four-rotor aircraft is still stuff of movie magic
Avengers helicraft still pie in the sky, say students at University of Leicester

The Physics and Astronomy building.

If you saw last year’s comicbook adaptation Avengers, you will be familiar with the giant flying aircraft carrier - but, with modern technology, physics students at the University of Leicester say, such a craft is as much science fiction as the superheroes.

The students found that an object the size of the Helicarrier would need to propel its four sets of 30 metre blades at 324 rotations per minute to keep its huge mass – estimated at 400 million kilograms - in the sky. According to them, no propellers are capable of doing this just yet.

Helicopters with 16.5 metre propeller blades rotating at maximum engine power are only capable of reaching speeds of 258 rotations per minute at the moment, so sadly we won’t be seeing any floating bases in the near future (but friendly neighbourhood webslingers are a little more likely).

The group of fourth year MPhys who looked into the logistics of the mega-craft published their findings in a paper entitled Helicarrier: Highly Feasible or Hollywood Hijinks? in the latest volume of the University of Leicester’s Journal of Physics Special Topics.