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Homework Help: Circular motion- radius of the plane's vertical loop

  1. May 5, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    An 80-kg pilot flies a plane in a vertical loop. At the top of the loop, where the plane is completely upside-down for an instant, the pilot hangs freely in the seat and does not push against the seat belt. The airspeed indicator reads the 110 m/s. What is the radius of the plane's vertical loop?

    2. Relevant equations


    3. The attempt at a solution

    So we know that m= 80kg v=110m/s and we are looking for R.
    In order to do this, I simply rearranged the Fc=mV2/R equation and solved for R. And this turned out to give me R=1 235m.

    I would like if someone could verify that my work here is done correctly and that the significant figures are being respected. Thank you so much for your time and help :)
  2. jcsd
  3. May 5, 2012 #2
    That is correct. You could also say that centripetal acceleration = v^2/R = g if there is no force on the pilot due to the seat or his seat belt. The pilot at this instant is effectively in 'free fall'
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