Assuming that a plane, for practical reasons, needs to climb, then descend...(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

If an airplane wanted to take the ABSOLUTE shortest distance from JFK to LAX, what typically needs to taken into consideration? Specifically, would you need to calculate simply the rotation of the Earth around its axis? Or would you also need to calculate in (as minute as it may be) the changing position of the Earth through space during the flight's time? If the latter, do the airlines typically get this detailed in their calculations?

Also, when flying, are you still a part of a "closed system" due to the Earth's gravity?

Finally, if you have any online sources of these calculations, that would be appreciated.

Our office got a little noisy during this debate.

Thanks very much in advance,

John

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# Airplane's shortest route

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