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Home > PC > Chapter 10 > Lesson 10.1.3 > Problem 10-36


You are flying in a single engine plane from New Orleans to Houston for an important meeting. From New Orleans, you head due west towards Houston, which is miles away, but shortly after takeoff your plane’s navigational equipment goes out. You press on and, as you reach the cruising altitude of feet, you encounter a headwind blowing towards the southeast at mph. The plane’s cruising speed is mph, but the wind will affect the plane’s speed and direction. What are the true speed and heading of the plane?

  1. Draw and label a vector diagram for this situation. In particular, find and label the angle between the plane’s velocity vector and the wind velocity vector.

    Horizontal ray points left, labeled 210 mph, at end second ray begins, pointing right & down, labeled 64 mph.

  2. Add a vector representing the resulting velocity vector for the plane.

    Third ray added, pointing left & down, creating triangle, shares starting point with horizontal ray, ending at end point of other ray.

  3. Find the plane’s true speed and bearing.