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Homework Help: Airplane direction and wind direction

  1. Jul 21, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    I have an example problem I would like to solve and unsure how to graphically set up the problem. I would like to derive the answer by the component method of deriving vectors instead of law of sines/cosines. An airplane is trying to keep on a due west course towards an airport. The airspeed of the plane is 600 km/hr. If the wind has a speed of 40 km/hr and is blowing at a direction of 30 degrees S of W, what direction should the aircraft be pointed and what will be its speed relative to the ground.
    2. Relevant equations
    3. The attempt at a solution
    Unsuccessful in setting up problem
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 21, 2013 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    First try drawing a vector for the wind and one for the plane's intended path (ie west) and one for the planes actual direction and label them with the speeds for each vector.

    Ask yourself how do these add together.
  4. Jul 22, 2013 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    There are many types of vector problem....

    An easy vector problem would give you two vectors A and B and have you calculate the resultant R.

    A slightly harder problem would give you the resultant R, one vector A and ask you to calculate vector B.

    In this case you have a combination of both. You are given:

    The direction component of the resultant R (West)
    The speed and direction of vector A (40 km/hr and 30 degrees S of West)
    The velocity component of vector B (600 km/hr)

    You need to find the velocity component of R and the direction component of B.

    Do what jedishrfu said. Start by making a drawing and mark all the known and unknown variables on it.
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