Skip navigation
Motion System Design

Poultry in motion

Out on his first field test for the aerospace lab of Ida-Ore University, and Finagle J. Wurme has forgotten his notebook. Not only that, he's at the wrong airfield. Today, Wurme is to perform the “chicken test” on a new composite IOU is developing for the FAA.

Finagle spots a plane on the runway and aims the poultry launcher squarely at the windshield. He dials in the settings from memory — elevation 8 feet, angle 15°, velocity 500 fps — and fires the frozen bird. “Yikes,” he shrieks, when he sees there are people aboard the “test” craft. From a distance of 75 feet, will Finagle hit the plane and end up in jail, or will he miss entirely and only lose his job? Assume the mass of the chicken is 6lb and ignore wind and air resistance. For the prize, how far does the bird actually travel, and how long is it in the air? Additional details are found on our website at

Send your solution to [email protected] by April 10, 2005.

The winner will receive a valuable prize.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.