ENGINEERING A BALLOON POWERED CAR JERRY YEANEY, P.E. (retired)
About the Book:
Even though this book is titled “Engineering a Balloon Powered Car,” it is more about a father reflecting upon a journey undertaken by a father and son working together, in the spirit of camaraderie, mutual respect, and friendship.
The journey happened many, many years ago. One day my son came home with a science project assignment titled, “Motion and Design.”
Now that I am retired, I thought I’d examine the science behind a balloon-powered car. Particularly, why was the balloon-powered car such a miserable failure? The approach presented in this book attempts to answer the following questions:
1. How much energy is stored in a fully inflated balloon?
2. How much energy from a fully inflated balloon is used to move the car forward?
3. Where is energy lost as the balloon deflates?
4. How much time does it take to deflate a fully inflated balloon?
5. What thrust force is applied to the car by the balloon as the balloon deflates?
6. Why did my son’s car barely move?