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Harry Potter flying broom idea. Would it work? Answered

          Ok, so in the past few months I've came up with an idea for a maglev-esque flying broom design after re-watching Harry Potter. It would hover over a magnetic track using two electromagnets- one in the handle and one hidden in the broom straw. The power of the magnets could be controlled via a control panel/joystick on the handle of the broom, letting the rider control the height of the broom. I'm not sure how the speed would work, but if I understand magnetic propulsion right, it should move forward by itself. Is there any way i could get it to where the rider could control the speed? And also, I'm assuming this will cost way more than I can afford, so at the moment it is all hypothetical.


Immediate objection: Unstable. Even if you could lift the stick, the first thing that would happen when you sit on it is that it would turn upside down and dump you.

That's assuming you get the levitation in the first place. It takes a BIG magnet to lift much weight, and inverse square law means that as the magnets get farther apart much, much more power is needed. Even with superconducting magnets (and where are you going to put the refrigerating system?), I don't think you'll get anything small enough to fit in a broomstick much smaller than a car, and then it will hover at a few inches off the track.

Feel free to prove that wrong, of course.

Oh. Well I could still probably at least make little mini ones and build a little quidditch field model. Maybe make them remote-control and make a game out of it, if it worked and I could get it to balance.

What if I used a propeller covered up by the broom straw with a motor and batteries/gas tank in the broomstick? Would it work? But that would still be unstable...

And despite my natural tendency to try to prove things wrong, I think I'll leave this one alone. Magnets aren't my friends, never work the way I want them to, so I'll just move on to a new probably impossible goal. Probably a robot pegasus.

i think that we could put a motor in the front of it so we could go backward {that's not very helpful but it would be cool} or we could just have weights on it to stabilize it well never mined you would still tip over


7 years ago

The magnets required for such a task would be absolutely enormous. And chances are, the broom would almost immediately flip upside down, causing the opposing poles to crash together. If the rider were unlucky enough to be caught between the broom and track, they'd probably be sliced in two by the force.

what if we were in a stardom and on the top was magnetic ceiling and your uniform was made of magnetic thread [if that is invented] so you wouldnt fall off your broom and go upsidedown

Well that sounds a little unpleasant... Anyway, I decided to do it on a smaller scale and make a remote-control quidditch game instead. I don't feel like posting another question as I've posted 2 today already, so what would you recommend I do to begin building it?

Hmmm, aside from making it a video game? I'm not sure what to suggest. Aside from the "traditional" way that muggles can play (running around with broomsticks between their legs, chasing around a snitch played by the fastest runner), I can't think of any practical way of pulling it off.

I was thinking maybe put a small propeller on the bottom of a foam broom hidden under/in a little foam player with a small, powerful motor like they use for those tiny pocket helicopter toys. Maybe even just gut one of those and build a foam quidditch player around it.

You could do that, but there are two big problems:

1. The air time of any one player would only be a few minutes. The batteries in those helicopters don't last very long! It would then take a few minutes to charge each one again, or change the batteries out.

2. If any two players ever collided, they'd probably destroy each other in a mangled heap of propeller blades, foam and electronics.

Yeah, the batteries would be a problem... and I know, the destroying each other is accounted for. It could have a ring around the blades to keep them from cutting the foam of other players/getting caught in other players' propellers and tearing each other apart.

Well, in that case you could have a fun game on your hands! I'm not sure how close it will be to quidditch, but it should make for some crazy fun!

Yeah, getting it to seem like quidditch would be hard, seeing as then you would have to control 7 players at once. I might make it like foosball or something, or it could be a party game or something that you do with a lot of people so you can have one person per player or one person per type of player, like one person controls the beaters, one the chasers, one the keeper, and one the seeker so you only need four people per team instead of 7. The actual ball would be the only hard part... and yeah it would make a great game, one of the only board/table games to use flying pieces, if not the only!

that would be a fun game though you could have 7 controlers and every one could get one and play just one at a tilme { you could install a better copter for the seeker so it can go faster} you could also have one player for each o the 4 balls

what if we were in a stardom and on the top was magnetic ceiling and your uniform was made of magnetic thread [if that is invented] so you wouldnt fall off your broom and go upsidedown

Maybe you could balance it out with clear plastic wings with magnets on themed of them , it would prevent bumping into each other but then maybe you wouldn't flip over one you got on

Instead of using electromagnets what about using propellers like on a drone and a remote control attached to the handle for steering.


7 years ago

Have you ever tried sitting on a broomstick? It has always amazed me that kids will see something like that and not think, "Wow thats really gotta hurt"! Sitting on a stick is not a fun experience. Sitting on a tick and experiencing high G forces would be torture. It would also probably break your pelvis. Wearing a cape and jumping off a roof will not make you fly. A lot of kids tried that after SuperMan hit the TV for the first time. Its fantasy. Try putting a bucket ejection seat on a broomstick, see how far that will get you.

How would it break your pelvis..? And I never said jumping off a roof would make you fly. Kids seriously thought that?

You could put a cushion on it, and as I said, it's all hypothetical. I'm not actually going to fly one of these things, to dangerous/painful for me.

You dont need no stinking cushion! Why not do it with some style....lol

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well what about this idea? whatif i put 3 fans in a pipe and cover one side? thus it will create a vacuum inside the pipe. then the pipe will become lighter than air. it will start to fly. will this work?

couldn't we make a way for the magnetic reaction to turn off so we can come down again? and how could we get higher up in the sky? how could we make it so the Quidditch balls fly to on their own? nice idea though. i was thinking we could make it so that we could have some jets placed in the right angles and learn to turn them on and off to fly and that the balls could be remote control. i dont know i am still in grade school i was just thinking

I was also thinking about magnets to fly a broom. As it happens, I've. Been researching magnetic levitation and if you had an electromagnetic feild below the broom which would conceal a fairly large standard magnet inside the wood and tail. Which in turn could possibly lift the rider. You can also control the strength of the feild to raise or lower the height and then have some sort of proppelling device on the rear to move forward.

An aluminium track will allow a 3 phase linear motor to hover over it - Consumes rather a lot of power - gets hot and isn't very high. Magnetic flux obeys the inverse square law.