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We have not done one of these in a while

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One aircraft will arrive before the other
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We have not done one of these in a while

Old 04-11-2019, 10:04 AM
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Default We have not done one of these in a while

Two identical aircraft leave the same exact time from an airport on the equator and circumnavigate the earth. One goes east the other west. Now for simplicity we will take all winds and weather and fuel out of the scenario. Both aircraft will travel the same exact speed, same exact altitude same exact track (with the exception of where they pass at 180 degrees around the globe (they just miss each other at that point) .

Will one aircraft arrive back at the starting airport before the other, taking in the rotation of the earth as a possible factor?



This came up as a subject at our airport bums meeting, I was surprised at the answers given

Last edited by mikeloew; 04-11-2019 at 10:32 AM.
Old 04-11-2019, 10:09 AM
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Pretty sure you’d have to be in space to have there be a difference but I’m not one of those brain scientists or rocket surgeons so who knows
Old 04-11-2019, 10:16 AM
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If is time based on SOG then not the same. If time based upon clock yes.
Old 04-11-2019, 10:22 AM
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Since you've taken wind out of the equation, that means the air mass has to be stationary wrt the ground. Since the aircraft are moving through the air which is stationary above the ground and traveling at the same airspeed they should arrive at the same time. Rotation of the earth is no factor.
Old 04-11-2019, 10:28 AM
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If they are both flying exactly over the equator...who's moving out of the way when they meet at 180*?
Old 04-11-2019, 10:29 AM
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I assume both planes take off in opposite directions, yes? That is the key of the problem?
Then one goes with the rotation of the earth and one goes opposite the rotation.
My quess is that the latter will land after the first.
Old 04-11-2019, 10:30 AM
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Re:

"If they are both flying exactly over the equator...who's moving out of the way when they meet at 180*?"One of them - hopefully

Last edited by loverofshells; 04-11-2019 at 10:31 AM. Reason: one more
Old 04-11-2019, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Fiesta View Post
I assume both planes take off in opposite directions, yes? That is the key of the problem?
Then one goes with the rotation of the earth and one goes opposite the rotation.
My quess is that the latter will land after the first.
Thanks I edited my post to include that info. On goes east, the other west.
Old 04-11-2019, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by SeaCat22 View Post
If they are both flying exactly over the equator...who's moving out of the way when they meet at 180*?
That was covered in the OP
Old 04-11-2019, 10:37 AM
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787 Max's?
Neither will make it
Old 04-11-2019, 10:46 AM
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Yes, the same time, but it's going to take them a year to get back to the same starting point (and even then, it won't be exactly the same!)

Oh, and the crew in the eastbound plane will have aged ever-so-slightly less than the crew of the other plane!!
Old 04-11-2019, 10:51 AM
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You flat earth folks know the real answer, don'tcha...
Old 04-11-2019, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by mikeloew View Post
Two identical aircraft leave the same exact time from an airport on the equator and circumnavigate the earth. One goes east the other west. Now for simplicity we will take all winds and weather and fuel out of the scenario. Both aircraft will travel the same exact speed, same exact altitude same exact track (with the exception of where they pass at 180 degrees around the globe (they just miss each other at that point) .

Will one aircraft arrive back at the starting airport before the other, taking in the rotation of the earth as a possible factor?



This came up as a subject at our airport bums meeting, I was surprised at the answers given
Good one, but you gave up the answer in your question.

If they meet/pass 180 degrees around the globe then....
Old 04-11-2019, 10:56 AM
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If you use the earth as the frame of reference then since you stipulate the same speed (relative to the earth) they will arrive at the same time having traveled the same distance. However they will not have traveled the same absolute distance, and they will not have gone the same absolute speed.
Old 04-11-2019, 11:45 AM
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If they take off from a treadmill, they will never meet, since neither will be able to get off the ground.
Old 04-11-2019, 11:55 AM
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The one traveling against the rotation of the earth should arrive on time.
The one traveling with the rotation of earth will be delayed.
Old 04-11-2019, 12:06 PM
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The plane flying east will experience a shorter flightpath than the plane flying to the west.

Plane east circumstence plus earth rotation in its favor.
plane west will fly full circumstance plus added distance to to earth rotation.
Old 04-11-2019, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by mikeloew View Post
Two identical aircraft leave the same exact time from an airport on the equator and circumnavigate the earth. One goes east the other west. Now for simplicity we will take all winds and weather and fuel out of the scenario. Both aircraft will travel the same exact speed, same exact altitude same exact track (with the exception of where they pass at 180 degrees around the globe (they just miss each other at that point) .

Will one aircraft arrive back at the starting airport before the other, taking in the rotation of the earth as a possible factor?



This came up as a subject at our airport bums meeting, I was surprised at the answers given
There a reason not to do these here.
Old 04-11-2019, 12:11 PM
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Is one of them American? That might make a difference.
Old 04-11-2019, 12:12 PM
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Same time. If winds and everything else are ruled out, the fact that the earth's surface is rotating at about 1,000 mph won't matter.

Think about it. If it did matter, one of the planes would never make it!

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