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Homework Help: Centripetal Force Help Needed

  1. Nov 29, 2011 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A pilot flies a loop-the-loop maneuver at constant speed. Two forces act on the pilot- the force due to gravity and the normal force of the seat pressing on him. Rank the largest to smallest normal forces on the pilot when [a. he is at the bottom of the loop right side up] [b. he is ascending vertically into the loop] or [c. he is upside down at the top of the loop]

    2. Relevant equations
    Doesn't look like there's any math involved.

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I don't really understand the concept, so an explanation would be awesome.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 29, 2011 #2
    Not much maths involved.
    You have the essential point ..... there are only 2 forces acting on the pilot..... the vertically downward force of gravity (his weight) and the upward force of the seat on the pilot.
    Can you draw diagrams showing these forces at the points described in the question..... that will solve it for you.
    The RESULTANT of these 2 forces is the centripetal force on the pilot.
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