KillaThrill Video and thrust to weight ratio

Posted on 10. Nov, 2008 by in Featured

I was asked to explain the thrust to weight ratio reference in my “KillaThrill Video is a hoax” post. I’ll keep it simple; it is the difference in pounds of thrust (produced by a power plant) compared to pounds of weight of the aircraft. If a power plant produces 1000 pounds of thrust and the aircraft weighs 1000 pounds; that is a 1 to 1 ratio.

For example an AV-8B Harrier must have better than a 1 to 1 ratio to take off vertically. The Harrier uses ducted jet exhaust and bleed air from the engine and vectors it to enable it to hover. A Helicopter uses its rotor system. Fixed wing aircraft can also achieve 1 to 1 or better thrust to weight ratios. Modern fourth generation fighters are an example; they can take off and accelerate while climbing in the vertical. To do that they use afterburning jet engines capable of producing thousands of pounds of thrust. Obviously if you load it down with a bunch of bombs and fuel it won’t exceed 1 to 1; however loaded for air to air they will.

Back to the video: the KillaThrill aircraft was almost in a pure hover just prior to landing. Not likely for an aircraft with one wing and a piston driven propeller producing thrust. However it is easy for a Radio Controlled aircraft. Ultra light weight materials (no pilot) that do not have to be load bearing and very powerful little two stroke engines combine for an impressive power to weight ratio. Below is a video of an F-100 Super Saber, it obviously did not have a better than 1 to 1 thrust to weight ratio to power it out of trouble.

Leave a Reply