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The acceleration of a descending airplane

  • Thread starter deveny7
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  • #1
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Homework Statement



An airplane descends in a circular pattern with a constant radius of 250 meters. The airplane has a horizontal speed of 75 m/s (constant) and a downward
speed of 5 m/s, which is increasing at a rate of 2 m/s2

Determine the acceleration of the airplane.


Homework Equations



an = v2 / ρ

a = √(at2 + an2)


The Attempt at a Solution



Finding the acceleration for a circular motion is easy, but I am having trouble including the downward acceleration. Any help is greatly appreciated!
 

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Answers and Replies

  • #2
Ibix
Science Advisor
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If all else fails, derive it from first principles.

Assuming that the aircraft is at height h and is circling the origin, can you write down its position as a function of time? If so, what's its acceleration?
 
  • #3
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What equation could I use to include the height and downward speed as a function of time?
 
  • #4
rcgldr
Homework Helper
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Finding the acceleration for a circular motion is easy, but I am having trouble including the downward acceleration.
You figured out the centripetal accleration, and the problem states the downwards acceleration is 2 m / s2, which would be the components of the acceleration vector (horizontal and vertical). To get the magnitude, take the square root of the sum of the squares of the components.
 

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