Engineering math question for you - GL1800Riders
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post #1 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
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Engineering math question for you

Does anyone happen to know the formula that gives you the amount a weight a vehicle loses as it goes faster down the road? I am not talking about orbiting the earth or escape velocity etc. Just a simple formula where you enter the vehicle weight and speed and end up with an answer. Smarta$$ answers are not appreciated. I am asking a serious question please for a young man doing a science experiment.

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post #2 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 11:23 AM
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I'm pretty sure there is no generic formula. It will depend upon the shape of the vehicle under consideration. If the vehicle produces a low-pressure above the vehicle, it will produce lift and lessen the effective weight of the vehicle as speed increases. The converse is also true. Some vehicles actually increase the downforce as the speed increases.

It all depends upon the aerodynamics of the vehicle in question.

Smarter minds chime in here.

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post #3 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 11:25 AM
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First, @Tom Finch would be the one to ask. Being as he used to be involved in aircraft design and has some patents related ... there is a good reason that his Tailwind trailers kind of look like an aircraft wing.

I am guessing that there is not a constant formula for that. The aerodynamic design (or lack there of) of the vehicle has a major affect that.

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post #4 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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I wasn't considering aerodynamics in the question. I read where mass actually increases with speed. The science experiment for the young boy is supposed to determine if the weight of a car going down the road at say 100MPH weighs less due to centrifugal force around the earth. All other considerations like aerodynamics would be getting too complicated for him. All help is apppreciated.

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post #5 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 12:14 PM
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The only change to weight would be related to some kind of aerodynamic effect causing either lift or down force on the vehicle.

Outside of that, the constant here is gravity and weight is just the affect of gravity on the mass. If gravity is unchanged and the mass of the vehicle is unchanged, then the weight is unchanged.

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post #6 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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I suggested an experiment for the young man. I proposed that he put a motorcycle (Not my wing!) in the back of a truck with bathroom scales beneath each wheel. We could go down a back road at a given speed and see if the weight changed on the scales while moving. I suspect it will not, but thought I would ask just in case I could be wrong. I haven't figured out the details yet on how to stabilize the bike other than simply using the side stand. Thinking of something like a small dirt bike. Maybe it will change but be so little to actually read anything. Just trying to help the kid.

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post #7 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 12:24 PM
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Engineering math question for you

Oh, I see his point now. Like a space craft in stable, near-earth orbit. If it accelerates enough, it will escape earth's gravity and go off into outer space.

Assume a car has zero aero lift or down force. How fast would it have to go to "lift off" like the space ship?

On my '70 Dodge Dart the answer was 140mph, but I think that was aero-lift! Lucky to have survived!

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post #8 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 12:38 PM
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As we sit here looking at our device screens we are moving at tremendous speed. The earth makes a complete revolution on it axis in 24 hours. The earth every year makes a complete orbital path around the sun. It is believed that our entire galaxy is moving through space at some tremendously fast speed. But we don't "feel" the speed at which we are presently moving, although it is certainly recognizable when we look to the sky. I suspect there is no detectable change in mass relative to speed, especially at speeds as slow as 100 mph, if indeed there is any change of mass at any speed.

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post #9 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 01:18 PM
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I think you may be referring to Einstein's Theory of Relativity.
As matter approaches light speed it loses mass, this is the principal behind nuclear energy.

Of course the effect is so tiny at any speed normally attainable as to be unmeasurable.
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post #10 of 84 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 01:50 PM
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This reminds me of an advanced math problem in high school. If you could fire a rifle bullet and drop a piece of chalk of the same weight at the same time, assuming the bullet is traveling in a straight line, they would both hit the ground at the same time.

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