In this class (and many other classes in Flight Mechanics) we will ...

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In this class (and many other classes in Flight Mechanics) we will assume that the earth is flat, non-rotating etc. and that the earth's curvature and rotation is negligible. But how much of an error do we really make in using these assumptions? Are they really negligible? The questions below will help you find the answer.

Assume an aircraft flying from Istanbul straight south towards South Africa at a constant speed of 800 km/h. (Fig.1)

a. What is the average acceleration the aircraft will need due to earth's curvature only in order to maintain constant altitude?

b. What is the average acceleration due to the earth's curvature and earth's rotation around itself combined in order to maintain constant altitude. (Assume perfect sphere, neglect rotation around sun)

c. What is the average acceleration due to the earth's curvature, earth's rotation around itself and its rotation around the sun combined in order for the aircraft to maintain constant altitude above the earth. Assume perfect sphere of earth, assume that the rotation around the sun is a perfect circle. Assume that the radius of rotation is the closest distance (this will provide the largest acceleration due to that rotation) of the earth to the sun while going around the sun. Assume no axial tilt of the earth axis.

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