Mechanics: Vectors and Projectiles

Vectors and Projectiles: Audio Guided Solution

Problem 3:

The takeoff speed of a military aircraft from an aircraft carrier is approximately 170 mi/hr relative to the air. They acquire this speed through a combination of a catapult system present on the aircraft carrier and the aircraft's jet propulsion system. A common strategy is to head the carrier and the plane into the wind. If a plane is taking off from an aircraft carrier which is moving at 40 mi/hr into a 20 mi/hr headwind, then what speed relative to the deck of the aircraft carrier must it obtain to takeoff?

Audio Guided Solution

Habits of an Effective Problem Solver

  • Read the problem carefully and develop a mental picture of the physical situation. If necessary, sketch a simple diagram of the physical situation to help you visualize it.
  • Identify the known and unknown quantities in an organized manner. Equate given values to the symbols used to represent the corresponding quantity - e.g., vox = 12.4 m/s, voy = 0.0 m/s, dx = 32.7 m, dy = ???.
  • Use physics formulas and conceptual reasoning to plot a strategy for solving for the unknown quantity.
  • Identify the appropriate formula(s) to use.
  • Perform substitutions and algebraic manipulations in order to solve for the unknown quantity.

Read About It!

Get more information on the topic of Vectors and Projectiles at The Physics Classroom Tutorial.

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