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Q: Flight time diferences ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: Flight time diferences
Category: Science > Earth Sciences
Asked by: tocomac-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 09 Jun 2004 14:00 PDT
Expires: 09 Jul 2004 14:00 PDT
Question ID: 358786
Why is it when I travel by air from Chicago to Rome the trip takes
slightly more than nine hours, but when I return flying from Rome to
Chicago the trip takes almost eleven hours?
Subject: Re: Flight time diferences
Answered By: robertskelton-ga on 10 Jun 2004 05:56 PDT
Hi there,

For Chicago to Heathrow:

"I checked the departure and arrival times of a Boeing 777, which has
an advertised cruise speed of 560 mph (900 km/h). After figuring the
time elapsed of each trip, I found that the average speed of the trip
from Chicago to Heathrow is about 525 mph (845 km/h), while the
average speed of the return trip is only about 440 mph (710 km/h)!
Notice that not only are both trips considerably slower than the
published cruise speed, but the return trip average speed is over 80
mph slower than the original flight! "

The article goes into much more detail, but declares the main reason
to be wind. It links to a similar question and answer, which dispels
the idea of the Earth's rotation making any difference:

"Now stop running. If you were to jump straight up in the air, would
the Earth rotate beneath you? (Those who do believe that the Earth
rotates around them may want to stop reading right now.) No, because
when you left the Earth's surface, you were traveling at the same
speed as the surface, so, in essence, the Earth matched your speed
through space while you were in the air! The same condition holds true
for an airplane as it travels from Los Angeles to Bombay. If we were
to ignore the winds, no matter which direction you flew from Los
Angeles, the speed of the aircraft relative to the Earth would be the
same. While the aircraft?s speed through space would change, the
effect of the Earth?s rotation remains constant, and in effect is
"cancelled out" no matter which direction you travel. In other words,
the speed of the rotation of the Earth is already imparted to the
aircraft, and the Earth matches that speed during the entire flight.
(Of course, in the case of spacecraft, these speeds become very
important.) "

Search keywords: longer london "new york" fly tailwind

Best wishes,
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