A small plane can travel at 200 km/h in still air. If a 50.0 km/h wind is coming from the east, determine the ground velocity of the plane if the pilot keeps the plane pointed [N].

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  1. This is just pythagorean theorem/trig.

    Basically the plane's velocity and the wind velocity are both "legs" of a right triangle. You apply the pythagorean theorem to find the ground velocity.

    square root of (200^2+50^2) = 206 km/h. Try it!

    Also, if you need to find the degree north west the plane is going, you can use trigonometry: (finding the inverse tangent)

    tan^-1(50/200) = 14 degrees.

    Note that the answers are all approximate.

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