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Why Longer Flying-time Westbound?  
User currently offlineEk345 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 163 posts, RR: 0
Posted (10 years 8 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 5055 times:

I was just curious to know why flights are longer when they fly east to west. I know that they are going against the jet stream but wouldn't the rotation of the earth be in their favor and counteract this??

Thanks!

EK345


"and miles to go before I sleep..."
7 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineEI A330-200 From Sweden, joined Apr 2001, 409 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (10 years 8 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 5032 times:

Flights are longer because you don't have a tailwind to push you along, you have a head wind.

Brian
EI Rocks!!!



Long live Aer Lingus, the Flying Shamrock!
User currently offlineEk345 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 163 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (10 years 8 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 4956 times:

thank brian I thought it might be something as simple as that. just wanted to verify  Smile

EK345



"and miles to go before I sleep..."
User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 18
Reply 3, posted (10 years 8 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 4943 times:

It is really that simple. Another factor is that because of that wind they need to carry more fuel making them heavy so they have to fly lower which itself means they're going even slower.


I wish I were flying
User currently offlineNdebele From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 2901 posts, RR: 22
Reply 4, posted (10 years 8 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 4929 times:

but wouldn't the rotation of the earth be in their favor and counteract this??
It has to do with Coriolis (sp?) which makes winds turn left, natural high altitude winds from the North to the South are turned left, this is why jetstreams go in Eastern direction.


User currently offlineInnocuousFox From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2805 posts, RR: 14
Reply 5, posted (10 years 8 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 4792 times:

"It has to do with Coriolis (sp?) which makes winds turn left, natural high altitude winds from the North to the South are turned left, this is why jetstreams go in Eastern direction."

Actually, this is only partially correct. Only in the middle latitudes (US and Europe) do we have prevailing westerlies. If you go down into a more tropical area, they have prevailing easterlies. Farther north in Canada, is easterlies as well. It has to do with the predominant pattern of high and low pressure at those latitudes combined with the coriolis effect.

The answer to the original question is correct, however. Headwinds.



Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
User currently offlineEspion007 From Denmark, joined Dec 2003, 1691 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (10 years 8 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 4765 times:

I have this exact question on my exams next week.

Winds are blowing from the north pole to the equator,where the pressure is lower.Because of the Coriolis effect,the winds are blowing west,since the earth spins below them.it creates the prevailing westerlies.If you are flying west a headwind is pushing against you so the engines have to work harder/use more feul,etc.Its like trying to sail a boat against the current.I might be a bit wrong,but thats all i have to know from exams  Smile



Snakes on a Plane!
User currently offlineNdebele From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 2901 posts, RR: 22
Reply 7, posted (10 years 8 months 6 days ago) and read 4616 times:

@InnocuousFox, Espion007: You're right, but it's difficult for me to explain it in a foreign language, that's why I took the "only partially correct" explanation - I think Ek345's question was about transatlantic flights anyway.

@Espion007: I had this exact question in my exams 10 years ago, and again 5 years ago - good luck for your exams next week!


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