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Chinese Driver Crashes In Giant Failed Loop-the-Loop Attempt

Illustration for article titled Chinese Driver Crashes In Giant Failed Loop-the-Loop Attempt

Any kid who had Hot Wheels or Matchbox car tracks as a kid knows that cars only make it safely through the loop-the-loop about one time out of ten. Definitely worth yelling for your brother to show him when it happens, then never being able to duplicate it. Sadly, the promoters of this Proton/Lotus driving exhibition clearly didn't recall their childhoods well enough.


In this video from Hefei, China, the car (badged as a Lotus but really a Proton) makes a good start, but right before the top the car seems to nick the side of the track, and, well, you can see the rest. Happily, driver seems to have lived, despite entirely missing the safety net slung in the middle of the loop.

The best part, though, is the sound of what appears to be one guy clapping when the car wrecks. Jerk.

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Ramblin Rover - The Vivisector of Solihull

Interesting tidbit: to stay in a loop and not fall out, the speed at the top of the loop has to be enough that the centripetal force required for a circle that size and speed is no less than g. If it were possible for the car to maintain constant speed throughout, an ideal loop would tend toward only 2g at the bottom, instead of 6. If you assume speed loss going into the loop corresponding to kinetic energy transformed into potential energy, you have a needed speed at the bottom going in and coming out of v1+v2, or sqrt(rg) [The needed speed at the top]+ sqrt(4rg) [The speed lost].

The rewarding thing here is that the required speed only goes up relative to the square root of the loop radius, meaning that you can get bigger and bigger loops with little corresponding investment in speed. Let's assume that a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport's suspension can handle the extra g-force: at maximum speed entering the bottom (431km/h or 119.7m/s), it will be able to crest a loop 250m high. The centripetal force at a maximum will, surprisingly, still only be a little under 6g, because the changes to required force remain at constant ratio.