Metal, Mulchers, and Airborne Projectiles

During the 7-18 County Council meeting, Vice President Keegan-Ayer made a claim that a truck hitch can be propelled “several miles” when placed inside a wood mulcher.

For the time being, we are going to ignore the fact that a 40+ pound piece of metal placed into a machine with high speed rotary objects is more likely to result in a catastrophic failure of said machine. That’s a fancy way of saying “it would blow up”.

I found a convenient projectile calculator on Wolfram Alpha which you can reference here. My calculus days are long past, so I decided to do this the easy way. Perhaps a math teacher out there would like to perform these calculations for me?

Of course, this calculator assume an escape angle of 45 degrees, the optimal condition for distance. For those not-so-metrically inclined, 200 meters per second translates to 447.387 MPH, or the cruising speed of a passenger jet.

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