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Classical Mechanics

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Moderate

Aircraft Carrier Catapult

CLMECH-4A4EXS

Aircraft produce lift from air flowing over the wing, but there is a minimum speed called the stall speed (different for each plane), needed for the lift to be greater than weight. Planes taking off from aircraft carriers do not have enough runway to get above the stall speed under their own power, so the ships have a device called a catapult that accelerates them using (usually) steam power in addition to the plane’s thrust.

An F-14 fighter with 27,700 kg mass can produce 148 kN thrust (without afterburner).

How much force does the catapult need to provide in order to get the airplane over 73.9 m/s before it reaches the end of the 91.4 m catapult? (Assume force is constant).