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Geometry/Discrete Math Velocity Vectors Help

  1. Feb 12, 2006 #1
    I'm working on this problem and it's frustrated me and I was wondering if I could get a spot of help on it:

    An airplane heads due south with an air speed of 480km/h. Measurements made from the ground indicate that the plane's ground speed is 528 km/h is 528 km/h at 15 degrees east of south. Calculate the wind speed.

    I have a diagram of what I worked out so maybe someone could show me what I did right and what I did wrong, that'd be nice.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 12, 2006 #2

    Fermat

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    Homework Helper

    You've got your plane heading 15 deg south of east, not 15 deg east of south!
    15 deg east of south is at -75 degrees( that's 75 degrees clockwise from direction of the positive x-axis)
     
  4. Feb 12, 2006 #3
    Okay thanks. I'll try it again and see what I come up with.
     
  5. Feb 12, 2006 #4

    Astronuc

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    Staff: Mentor

    I would suggest using -j (-y) for S, and i (+x) for E.

    Consider the ground speed as the true speed. Resolve the ground speed vector into its S and E components. The air speed is 480 km/h, so the air must have a southward component to carry the plane with a faster ground speed.

    What are the S and E components of the ground speed vector?
     
  6. Feb 12, 2006 #5
    I figured it out. The problem were in the angles, so I redrew it like this:

    [​IMG]

    Then I used cosine law to get the wind speed. Just thought I'd post the solution so people would know :D
     
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