Fig.1 The Straw Hat Crew with the Thousand Sunny in the background
Welcome back to a new edition of the E-Nerd series where videogames, movies and manga energy devices are analysed and studied. This edition is about “One Piece” and one of its main characters “Franky”1. Franky is a cyborg engineer, builder of the different ships of the Straw Hat Pirates crew and he also works on his personal uploads. As it was previously presented for Futurama and Bender, Franky also needs constant refuelling but in his case his use of cola drinks is limited to his weapons.
In order to be able to fight at any moment, Franky is always storing some Cola in his belly where he keeps more than 6 Litres of soda in a small fridge. When the cola is almost finished, the cyborg can also enter in a saving mode in its updated versions to optimally power its cannons.
Fig. 2: Franky's fridge storing bottles of Cola. One Piece
As a part of his job as a carpenter for the “Thousand Sunny” (from now on referred as Sunny), a brig sloop type ship designed and built for the Straw Hat pirates by Franky himself, he also implemented an emergency escape device that fires three barrels of Cola to fire a giant cannon downward and rocket the ship into the air for 1km. Its structure, made of a special wood makes it resistant to explosions and to the big impact of the boat with the sea on landing. A lot is not said about its materials, but it can be assumed a weight similar to a real wooden brig sloop.
But is such a jump a realistic? Let’s evaluate its physics and see how real it can be..
Since the emergency device is prepared for a rapid escape that could throw the Sunny a far distance, it will be considered an optimal angle of shooting. This angle is difficult to determine for a ship like the Sunny given the difficulty of calculating the air resistance. To simplify the calculations it will be assumed that the Sunny travels like a bullet in the air, without any air resistance. Recalling physics lectures, the best launch angle can be calculated to be 45°.
But at which speed should the ship be fired in order to fly 1 km far away?
Given an optimal angle of 45° and a gravity acceleration equal to Earth’s of 9.8 m/s^2, the initial speed needed to reach 1 km of distance is 99m/s or 356.4 km/h. The starting speed of the Sunny would have to be the same as of a F1 or Nascar car at full speed! Moreover, the weight of a cruiser brig sloop is approximately 386 tons, which is massive compared to the cartooned appearance of the same ship in the anime.
However, it is not impossible to reach 356 km/h with such a weight, the cola explosion must transfer a kinetic energy of 1891.6 MJ. As it is said by the manga, this energy is stored in three cola barrels, but how much cola can a barrel store?
A barrel is a unit of measure that varies depending on its content. Looking at the images of the manga, the size considered will be the one for the wooden barrels used for wine that keep around 200 Litres of liquid. Three barrels would then permit to use 600 Litres of Cola to be burned to fire the cannon.
Therefore, the Cola used by Franky and by the Sunny would have an energy density of at least 3.15 MJ/L. If we consider the energy density of common boat propellers nowadays, they store more energy in a litre of fuel, with 37.4 MJ/L for kerosene and 35.8 MJ/L for diesel. Following the same source of data, explosives seem to be nearer to the values of the Cola from One Piece.
However, the Cola from One Piece is a black drinkable and its caramel composition makes it really similar to the cola we are used to. Moreover, the energy density of a common cola is 1.8MJ/L, which is not too far from the obtained value. The real innovation of the One Piece’s Cola is the fact that it can explode. This can be thanks either to Franky's engineering skills or Eiichiro Oda's imagination when developing Franky’s skills.
By: Jacopo Sala
The CommUnity Post
1 - The series focuses on Monkey D. Luffy, a young man who, inspired by his childhood idol and powerful pirate "Red Haired" Shanks, sets off on a journey from the East Blue Sea to find the famed treasure One Piece and proclaim himself the King of the Pirates. In an effort to organize his own crew, the Straw Hat Pirates, Luffy rescues and befriends a swordsman named Roronoa Zoro, and they head off in search of the One Piece. They are joined in their journey by Nami, a navigator and thief; Usopp, a sniper and a liar; and Sanji, a womanizing chef. They acquire a ship named the Going Merry and engage in confrontations with notorious pirates of the East Blue. As Luffy and his crew set out on their adventures, others join the crew later in the series, including the doctor and anthropomorphized reindeer Tony Tony Chopper, the archaeologist and former assassin Nico Robin, the cyborg shipwright Franky, the skeletal musician Brook, and the fishman helmsman Jimbei, and they also acquire a new ship named Thousand Sunny.