Balls Out Physics Episode 1: Planes Flying on a Spinning Ball
Published on Aug 24, 2015A problem for discussion involving a plane flying relative to a rotating Earth. In the problem were are a “stationary” observer watching the plane fly on a spinning Earth, so this is why the rotation of Earth is relevant. The problem is that the plane ends up with a greater velocity to the east than that of the north-south orientated runway that it is trying to land on. There must be some unknown force that can balance out these differences in velocities for ALL planes that fly east or west during their flights. How do we calculate this force? Where does it come from? The only way to get rid of the need for the force is to stop the Earth from spinning. If we can’t calculate this, the Earth does not spin. We are able to calculate forces and velocities for all situations throughout Physics. There cannot be an exception for this. The problem also looks at the curvature the plane would have to fly over to get from one airport to the other. It appears that the plane would have to constantly “nose down” to follow the curvature. Please review, comment, and discuss!
Special thanks to Michael Kahnke for creating the Curvature Chart!