Re: Another mighty initial thrust idea
Well, no, that’s not exactly correct. I think the point is that static friction is always at least as great (at its maximum) than sliding friction — which is true, pure and simple. I guess the objection was that a launcher floating in space would not present a great load to a plane launching off of it, in order to overcome static friction (including potentially frozen-together components).
However, while I agree that a slender guidance rod is completely wrong here, it’s not due to static friction considerations (which could be overcome by the launcher’s inertia or, worst case, by a heavily detuned piston launcher) but because a guidance rod would be barkin’ useless for something as heavy as LOHAN, especially one cantilevered into an aluminum plate. In addition to having great propensity for freezing to the launch lug, it would be floppy as hell and not direct the plane effectively. Indeed, launch rods are ONLY used in ground-based launchers with rockets weighing a couple of hundred grams tops — anything bigger than that uses a rail or tube launcher.