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Canary Cargo

Science brain teasers require understanding of the physical or biological world and the laws that govern it.


Puzzle ID:#1144
Fun:*** (2.57)
Difficulty:** (1.6)
Submitted By:starman****




A cargo plane loaded with canaries is set to take off but the co-pilot has calculated the weight of the plane and its contents is just a few pounds over its maximum allowable takeoff weight. "No problem," he tells the captain. "I'm going back to the cargo area. When you hear me yelling, go ahead and take off." What was he planning to do?


The co-pilot was planning to make a lot of noise yelling, scaring the canaries into flying which would lighten the load enough for the plane to take off. The fuel burned during takeoff would lighten the load enough for the birds to alight again after the plane was airborne. (The captain, however, knew this little trick wouldn't work and taxied back to the loading area to have some canaries removed. He knew that the canaries were heavier than the air they displaced from the closed interior of the aircraft and that their combined weight while flying would still be distributed to the airplane by air molecules)

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Oct 16, 2001

If in fact the birds would remain in flight, then the co-pilots plan would work. This would be the same as training the birds to fly out of the plane, up into the air, then back into the plane while it flies by.
Oct 16, 2001

Wrong, while the birds remain in the plane in flight the total weight of the plane remains the same if not more. For every reaction there is an equal, opposite reaction. R. Eatmon
Nov 21, 2001

If the birds were flying, its like there is no birds there in the first place, so, witht he birds flying, its lighter.
Mar 20, 2002

Who ships canaries?
Apr 03, 2002

I like parakeets more.-Feo
Apr 10, 2002

randyeatmon is correct the birds stay in the air by pushing down on the air with there wings
the idea is similar to replacing a large mass sitting on top of the plane with a strong breeze pushing down on the plane both of which would prevent the plane taking off.
Jul 17, 2002

Ok, that is such a complicaed answer!! Why not just "The co-pilot was planning to make a lot of noise yelling, scaring the canaries into flying which would lighten the load enough for the plane to take off."???
Neway it's a g1!
Jun 03, 2006

I assumed they were going to taxi some more until they burned a few pounds of fuel...
Jan 25, 2007

actually, it is the EXACT SAME, just as randyeatmon had said.
Jun 23, 2010

OK, this one scared me a bit, as I had a feeling I knew his plan!
Sep 17, 2016

It's not going to work. Some birds won't leave their perches. The longest time span that some birds are in flight is only a fraction of a second. Besides, the birds in flight will not be synchronized to stay in flight, even for fractions of seconds. Nevertheless, the plane will fly with out all this drama. A lot of fuel will burn off during takeoff, lightening the plane. There is also a margin of safety built into the "maximum weight allowed". However, if the engines aren't powerful enough, the plane will not lift off and will crash.

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