Consider an RC car going off a jump. What angle is optimal to achieve the greatest distance? The height of each jump is the same. The angle of the jump and the related length of the jump changes. This is an experiment my son is doing for his 6th grade science fair.
The RC car used is a hobbyist RC car with a top speed of approximately 30 mph. It has shocks, and the tires are rubber with foam inside.
We've used a Netduino to control acceleration so that the each run is identical.
The optimal angle for ballistic trajectory is 45 degrees. This is based on his research as he hasn't quite reached calculus yet. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Range_of_a_projectile
My understanding is that the Work to climb the inclined is identical for each jump. They are all the same height, and climbing them produces the same potential energy. Am I completely misunderstanding this?
The tires do not slip.
The car starts from 20 feet from the high end of the jump.
Given this information, would the 45 degrees be the optimal angle of the jump? We haven't completed the test runs yet, but initial tests show the 45 degree jump performs poorly.
We reduced the test speed such that the car does not scrape the bottom when it hits the ramp.
Other than the trajectory and the Work required to climb the jump, what aspects are we missing? Where is the energy going when it hits the 45 degree jump?