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 Quote by mender You're forgetting that the thrust at the prop can be higher than the drag at the wheels but only because the ground is moving past the cart faster than the air. If there is no wind, the air is moving past the cart at the same speed. The cart essentially gears down the force at the wheels and turns the prop slower than the ground speed but with more force against the air. The drag at the wheels is x, the speed across the ground is v; since the prop is acting on the air, with no losses, the thrust from the prop can be 2x when it is turning at a rate to move the air back at half the ground speed (v/2). Same principle as a lever; the force at one end can be much greater than at the other but the distance is less. Better?
I'm sorry I do not understand how. How can the thrust be higher than the drag at the wheel? Aren't they are mechanically connected? Move air back at v/2 relative to what, the cart or the ground? If you use gears to make the propeller move faster than the wheels, it will displace more air but also drag the wheels more, because it does more work and needs more energy, if you make it spin slower it provides less acceleration but also causes less drag, at least the way I understand it.