My latest inventions – what could POSSIBLY go wrong?

I’ve had some ideas lately for some really great inventions…

  1. All inventions calculated with the help of my handy slide rule!

    The Pinwheel. Applies to any modern twin-jet. Instead of hanging the two engines as close to the fuselage as possible, why not stick them on the wingtips? It’ll be quieter for passengers and – even better – the engines can act as an anti-flutter weight. What could possibly go wrong with having all the thrust out there on the end of each wing?

  2. The Aaaaaargh-splat. Near the end of the Cold War the Soviets were experimenting with shoes for soldiers equipped with springs and explosive charges that catapulted the wearer further with every stride than they could manage with their own muscles. It worked a treat, apart from the occasional broken ankle. I propose pepping that up with a solid-fuel motor taken from a Sidewinder missile in each heel. Transport yourself anywhere in great jumps, really fast. Genius, really, and I don’t know why it hasn’t been tried.
  3. See that Packard Merlin under the cowling? Totally wasted in an aircraft.

    The Merlin Boat Anchor. Any small boat’s anchor is only going to have limited holding capacity – so why not use a weight like the cylinder block from a V-12 Packard Merlin. The only one I know of in New Zealand is installed in the sole flyable P-51D in the country. If anybody else needs an anchor, there’s a Spitfire with a Rolls Royce Merlin out there too, and I’m sure Merlin cylinder blocks can be imported from vintage aviation societies around the world.

  4. The Road Roller Tester. Road-rollers aren’t what they used to be – I mean, they should be able to be dropped from a height and still work, shouldn’t they? This is where my idea comes in; a 50 metre high steel frame. The road roller is hoisted to the top and released. Naturally the impact will have to be measured – I mean, this is for scientific purposes, not some gleeful attempt to destroy expensive road construction machinery by dropping it. So I propose putting a measuring device at the impact point, then analysing the device for any damage caused by a full-size road roller falling on it from 50 metres. Suitable measuring devices I’ve identified for the purpose are: (1) A Bugatti Chyron, (2) an Aston Martin Vanquish, and (3) a vintage 1920 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost.

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2018

10 thoughts on “My latest inventions – what could POSSIBLY go wrong?

  1. Seriously, Matthew, have you been watching old Road-Runner cartoons? Some of these sound like ideas Wile E. Coyote might have come up with!

    However…re that first one, seems that it’s been tried. There was a P-51C modified for racing with twin pulse-jets on the wingtip. The airplane was named “Beguine.” And it appears the USAAF experimented with jets on P-51s. See link. You’ll have to scroll down a little.

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    1. Yes, all my products are made by Acme! 🙂 The jet-assisted P51’s are intriguing! I just wonder how the ramjet version would fly if one engine died without exploding – would the rudder have enough control authority to prevent the plane turning uncontrollably before the pilot could shut down the running motor? Kind of scary thought.

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      1. No kidding. Imagine being in a pylon turn at high speed and low altitude … and that happened! It would happen so fast it probably wouldn’t register on your brain.


        1. Sure would. Just off memory I think the B-47’s No. 1 and No. 6 engines were well outboard in part to help dampen flutter, but of course they had the four inboard engines as well. Luckily! 🙂

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  2. Haha! I love all of these. Could we put those sidewinder missile engines on the feet of every North Korean soldier? The war of the Koreas would be over in a day! But if you go dropping your road roller, please don’t use an Aston-Martin as the sensor. I think I would cry. *sniff*

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