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Airplane problem >_O

  1. May 7, 2006 #1
    An airplane flying into a headwind travels the 1800 mile flying distance between Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Phoenix, Arizona, in three hours and 36 minutes. On the return flight, the distance is traveled in 3 hours. Find the airspeed of the plane and the speed of the wind, assuming that both remain constant.

    I tried using vectors but...I'm just lost on this question.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 8, 2006 #2
    Well, if this question is supposed to be as straightforward as it sounds, then I assume they mean the speed of the plane stays constant relative to the wind speed.

    Then, on the first flight, the plane travels at a speed of vp - va, and on the return flight it travels at a speed of vp + va, where vp is plane speed and va is air speed.

    You should be able to set up simultaneous equations and solve for the two unknowns.
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