A4_2 Plausibility of Planes on Other Planets

Josh Finn, Peter Millington-Hotze, Elsa Monget, Alex Blewitt, Joshua Ford


In this paper we explore the possibility of a typical passenger aeroplane taking-off from the surface of each of the terrestrial planets using aerodynamic lift from its wings. This should be possible on Venus, with the minimum take-off speed found to be v ≈ 10 m s^-1, compared to v ≈ 81 m s^-1 on Earth. However, this would be unlikely on Mars, as this would require v ≈ 340 m s^-1, and impossible on Mercury, where the lack of atmosphere prevents the wings from generating  lift.

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