# Newton's Laws of Motion on an airplane

• torresmido
In summary, the airplane is experiencing a downward acceleration of 11.8 m/s^2 due to gravity and an additional 2 m/s^2 due to the violent downdraft, resulting in a total downward acceleration of 13.8 m/s^2. This is why the pretzels on the seatback tray rise vertically, as they are experiencing an upward acceleration relative to the plane.
torresmido

## Homework Statement

Your airplane is caught in a brief, violent downdraft. To your amazement, the pretzels on your seatback tray rise vertivally, and you estimate their upward acceleration relative to the plane at 2 m/s^2. What's the donward acceleration of the plane?

ANy suggestions are highly aprreciated!

## The Attempt at a Solution

what I know is that if the plane is in such a situation it's subject to the gravitational force only, but why we're given this pretzels acceleration?

Stated another way, the plane is heading downward so quickly that it has a greater acceleration than gravity by 2 m/s^2. If that is true, what is the downward acceleration of the plane?

It should give you gravity as either 9.8 or 9.81 m/s^2.

so the plane's acceleration is 11.8 m/s^2 downward. We should sum the gravitation acceleration and the pretzels.

Exactly.

## 1. How do Newton's Laws of Motion apply to airplanes?

Newton's Laws of Motion apply to airplanes in the same way they apply to any other object in motion. The first law states that an object will remain at rest or in motion with a constant velocity unless acted upon by an external force. In the case of an airplane, the engines provide the necessary force to overcome the natural forces of gravity and air resistance, allowing the plane to take off and maintain a steady speed. The second law states that the acceleration of an object is directly proportional to the net force acting on it and inversely proportional to its mass. This means that the more force the engines produce, the faster the plane will accelerate. Finally, the third law states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This is evident in the thrust produced by the engines pushing the plane forward, while the air resistance provides an equal and opposite force in the opposite direction.

## 2. How does the Law of Inertia affect an airplane during takeoff?

The Law of Inertia, also known as Newton's first law, states that an object will remain at rest or in motion with a constant velocity unless acted upon by an external force. This means that before takeoff, the airplane is at rest, and according to the law, it would remain at rest if not for the force of the engines pushing it forward. As the plane gains speed, the force of air resistance also increases, but the thrust from the engines overcomes it, allowing the plane to continue moving forward and eventually take off.

## 3. How does the weight of an airplane affect its motion?

According to Newton's second law, the acceleration of an object is directly proportional to the net force acting on it and inversely proportional to its mass. This means that the heavier the airplane is, the more force (thrust from the engines) is needed to accelerate it. The weight of an airplane also affects its ability to maintain a steady speed. If the weight increases, the plane will require more thrust to overcome the force of air resistance and maintain its speed. This is why airplanes have weight limits for takeoff, as exceeding the weight limit can affect the plane's performance and safety.

## 4. What role does air resistance play in an airplane's flight?

Air resistance, also known as drag, is a force that opposes the motion of an object through the air. In the case of an airplane, air resistance is the force of the air pushing against the plane as it moves forward. This force increases as the plane's speed increases and can affect the plane's ability to maintain a steady speed. This is why airplanes have streamlined designs and wings that are shaped to minimize air resistance and improve the plane's aerodynamics.

## 5. How do Newton's Laws of Motion affect an airplane's flight path?

Newton's Laws of Motion play a crucial role in determining an airplane's flight path. The first law states that an object will remain at rest or in motion with a constant velocity unless acted upon by an external force. This means that once the plane is in the air, it will continue moving forward at a constant speed unless acted upon by an external force, such as changing the direction of the plane. The second law states that the acceleration of an object is directly proportional to the net force acting on it and inversely proportional to its mass. This means that the direction of the plane can be changed by applying a force, such as using the rudder or ailerons. The third law states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This law can be observed in the way the plane turns, as the action of the rudder or ailerons creates a reaction force that causes the plane to change direction.

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