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Project: Lifting the Helicarrier (The Avengers)

No matter your opinion on Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, one thing cannot be denied – The long-running film series never fails to deliver spectacle. One of the more memorable spectacles of the 2012 team-up movie, The Avengers, comes in the form of SHIELD’s massive flying aircraft carrier, referred to simply as the Helicarrier. The vehicle initially floats in the water, appearing to be little more than an ordinary carrier, but it then lifts off from the ocean using a quartet of massive propellers. Though the visual impact of such a machine is certainly quite impressive, the question remains as to whether the four large propellers could actually generate enough force to lift the Helicarrier out of the water and into the sky. In order to answer this question, we must assess the physics behind the scene. The propeller physics used will be based on NASA’s plane propeller physics, but on a much larger scale. On the simplest level, the requirements for the Helicarrier to be scientifically fea…

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