Now we need to rethink the relative motions of the tube and the atmosphere. It is the tube that is moving faster than the speed of sound, and the air is standing still. However, the concept of relativity allows us to think of the situation as if the tube was standing still and the air was rushing by at supersonic speeds. In fact, this is what happens in a wind tunnel where high speed air is blown through the tunnel and a test missile is bolted firmly in place. For discussions of how the ramjet engine works it is very useful to think of how the air moves through the engine, as if the engine was not moving and the air was.
@ ValleyFiah- I read about that engine as well. The company that designed the engine, Scuderi, unveiled the prototype at the IAA Car Show in Frankfurt, Germany. Their website has a great video showing how the engine works. This is what I got from it.
To understand how the ramjet engine works we must review the physics involved. In other words, we must think about the way the universe around us works.
The Thrilling Adventures has an appendix with many diagrams and explanations of how the Analytical Engine worked and how it relates to modern computers, but I think despite the pleasures of print the broad operation of the Engine is most clearly explained by animation. I hope this video makes it clearer– I should stress that a) this is a super-simplified, cartoon, stripped-down version, and b) this is the best of my understanding, gleaned from the papers of the late Allan Bromely (lent to me by , thanks John and I’m totally returning them I swear!!) who wrote I think the most complete modern descriptions of the Engine. I could be SO TOTALLY WRONG on a lot of stuff. So that said, here we go (I um and er a lot less after the first couple of minutes I promise…):