Experiments

Jet Engine/Taxi

posted: 04/11/12
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As seen in "MythBusters: Buried in Concrete"
iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Finding: PLAUSIBLE

Explanation: If you're running late for the airport, it's probably not a good idea to ask your taxi driver to drop you off right on the runway. After all, in January 2002, a cab accidentally ended up behind a 737 jet at a Brazilian airport, and the engine force blew the car back 75 feet. MythBusters Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage got wind of the story and attempted to re-create the runway run-in.

Since it wouldn't be safe for anyone to motor behind a jet plane, the MythBusters first rigged up a retired taxi for remote-controlled driving. Then, for insurance purposes, the MythBusters employed turbojet engines from high-powered wind generators in lieu of an actual 737 jet.

The combined force of the stationary engines wasn't anything to sneeze at, either, with a total output of about 7,000 pounds per square inch. But even after coaxing the car to flip by positioning it on a slant and elevating its engine-facing side, it didn't budge.

Nonetheless, Jamie and Adam believed they could confirm the Brazilian airport incident if they had a genuine jet plane at their disposal. However, given the lack of appropriate resources — and insurance clearance — they could neither confirm nor bust the myth and instead had to abort the mission, deeming it plausible.

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