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Max Thrust provided by Iron Mans Suit

Utsav Bansal, 2010EE10488, B.Tech Electrical Engg., IIT Delhi



Abstract
In this Analysis done on Iron Mans Mark VI suit used in the Movies Iron Man 2 and The Avengers we try
to find out exactly how much thrust can those shiny little repulsors provide. Assuming that Tony Stark
used the full thrust from his suit when trying to jump-start S.H.I.E.L.Ds Helicarriers Ducted rotors, we
will first provide an analysis of the thrust provided by a single rotor on the helicarrier, and then calculate
the thrust of Iron Mans Repulsor Beam. And subsequently deduce the amount of power his arc reactor
uses.
I. Introduction
As soon as people came out of the theatre after watching the Avengers, geeks, mythbuster fans around
the world started to vent their opinion about how unrealistic the S.H.I.E.L.D helicarrier was. How can
such a thing even fly? Yet maybe because of Robert Downey Juniors brilliance no one actually
questioned the scene where Iron Man miraculously jump-starts one of S.H.I.E.L.Ds Engines, while
flying. Assuming that Tony Stark was giving his maximum to the repulsors to actually get the thing back
online (As shown brilliantly by Robert Downey Jrs brilliant expressions and the fact that in the end when
he maxed out he actually left contact one of the rotor blades and started to churn in the Engine), we
first try to get a rough estimate of the power of the repulsor rays in the Mark VI suit and then estimate
the power provided by his now vibranium stabilized arc reactor.

Figure 1. Iron Man at full thrust
II. Calculations
Some online research[1][2] has shown us that the Internet generally agrees to approximate the
Helicarriers size and mass to be about a Modern US Aircraft Carrier, and so we arrive at the following
values: m = 10
8

Kg and length = 400m.[3]

Figure 2: A comparison of the Helicarrier and the Nimitz class carrier.
Also, after using the Wired magazines rotor-thrust calculations [2] and modifying them for my own
inputs I arrive at a thrust speed of v = 600 m/s.
At the time Tony jumpstarted the Engine there were only three thrusters online, putting the thrust given
out by a Single Engine to be around:
3F = mg
F = mg/3 ~ 3*10
8
N
P = F*v = 1.8*10
11
W = 180 GW
Assuming none of the power used by Tonys suit goes to losses, we estimate each thruster to be capable
of providing a 180 GW/2 = 90 GW output.
Now, compare that with the arc reactor used in his mark IV suit of 12 GW[4], its increased by 15 times!
III. Conclusion
I was happily surprised to see that the power provided by the Arc Reactor was in a reasonably close
range of the expected power(15 times is only one range of order different). A lot of the time film makers
dont take such things into account, maybe not even this time, but well as they say, Joss Whedon, you
always win!
IV. References
1. Could the S.H.I.E.L.D Helicarrier Fly, the Wired Magazine.
2. S.H.I.E.L.Ds helicarrier could lift of using todays technology, Mark Warren Wordpress Blog
3. "A Solution to the Inherent List on Nimitz Class Aircraft Carriers, Wolfson, Dianna.
4. Iron Man (2008), Movie

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