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Coriolis force on a plane

  1. Jan 7, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A plane with a fully laden mass of 500 tonnes is flying due north at a steady speed of 1000kmh^-1 and is located at a latitude of 51 degrees north at a specific time.

    What force in an east-west direction is required to keep the plane on course along a fixed line of longitude.

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution

    So due to the inertial effect of the Coriolis force, the plane requires a force acting east to keep it on a fixed line of longitude because the coriolis force is acting west on the plane.

    The magnitude of the coriolis force is given by this equation:

    mx'' = -2mw(z'cos(theta) - y'sin(theta))

    where x is the east direction , z is vertically up, y is north, theta is the latitude

    So in this case, because there is no velocity in the z direction, it becomes:

    mx'' = -2mw(-y'sin(theta))

    Is this right?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 7, 2008 #2
    Hi guys, i think ive got this right, but im not entirely sure, i get a force of 16000 N.
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