Title: Scientific Analysis of Trajectories and Aerodynamics of Stuffed Toys as Hurled by Recumbent Passenger Seat Apparatus in Mini-Van.
Authors: Dad (Supervisor, Range Safety Officer), Kid #1 (male) (Launch Control Officer), Kid #2 (female) (Projectile Loader/Chief Giggler).
Abstract: An amusement method was required by parental authorities to keep vehicle-bound children occupied while Mom went grocery shopping, as children did not wish to participate in said shopping activity.
Results: An act of horseplay in the front seat determined that activating the release handle while passenger seat-back was reclined caused the reclined portion to lurch to an upright position, albeit only if unencumbered by a human body. Thus was discovered the catapult-style launch propulsion mechanism.
Significant test firings were required to determine optimal placement of flight vehicle, aerodynamic properties of hurled object, optimal launch angle, allowance for prevailing wind conditions, curvature of the earth, humidity etc.
Determination was made that pink tiger stuffy was the most suitable test pilot/projectile. Other pilots interviewed/tested were Dad’s ball cap, the garage door opener thingy, CD case etc. Pink tiger achieved superb results in speed, altitude, and aerobatic performance.
This brave pilot was also the only fatality of the testing program, bursting its innards after a memorable impact with the windshield during a record-breaking, almost supersonic, flight. Investigators determined the cause of the fatality was structural failure and in-flight splitting of the primary control surfaces, or ‘guts.’
It did not die in vain as a great deal of usable data (including improvised parachute deployments and slow-motion crashes) was obtained prior to the fateful flight. He/she/it will be remembered.
Results: Flight durations approaching .30 (point three zero) seconds were routinely attained by the test team. These astounding flights were achieved by launching the projectile in a semi-parabolic arc off of the headrest, up towards (but not contacting)(hopefully) the sun visor, then following the inside of the windshield until landing somewhere in the vicinity of the windshield defroster vent.
Flight evaluation was harsh but honest. “That sucked” was common, as was the non-verbal “Splat,” which was indicative of either a failure to clear the launch structure or an unspectacular landing. “Whoa!”, “Awesome!” and “Holy Cow!” were recorded frequently as control parameters became better understood.
Post-flight vehicle recovery and inspection was conducted by supervisory staff while catapult mechanism was re-armed by the field crew for subsequent launch attempts.
Field calculations were performed by attending authorities and it was determined speeds in excess of 6000 miles per hour were attained on numerous occasions. These speeds, while of sub-orbital velocity, were indeed impressive and the relevant government agency in charge of such things was immediately notified via pretend cell phone call.
Conclusions: Clearly more research needs to be done in the exciting field of Seat-Propelled Stuffed Animal Aviation and Catapulting. The next phases of the project will investigate the flying qualities of stuffed turtles, oranges, and cartons of frozen Eggo Waffles while Mom is in the video store.
Unopened cans of soda proposed for testing were rejected by supervisory authorities.
Note for future research participants: An unexpected starvation crisis occurred during this research. Crew fatalities were narrowly avoided by the timely supply of slushy liquid nutrients from a local retailer, for which the research team extends its gratitude.
The discovery of a small stash of gummy bears between the seats during the proceedings allowed the research team to somehow carry on and complete the research in the allotted time, albeit under severe hunger stress.