Topic Author
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2004 1:35 am

The Quickest Way Between Two Points...

Sun Mar 12, 2006 4:32 am

Was always a straight line, I thought!

I was monitoring my parents' flight yesterday from ORD to OGG (Kahului, HI). Their flight path took them more north and west at first, before turning south (off the coast of Oregon).

Why is that - I was expecting to see a straight (or semi-straight line) and then hitting the Pacific Ocean somewhere in the mid- to southern part of California.

Any insights?

Posts: 154
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2005 10:32 pm

RE: The Quickest Way Between Two Points...

Sun Mar 12, 2006 6:19 am

That's because the world is not flat, it's a globe.
The map as you see it is actually not fully correct since it's rather impossible to map a globe on a flat sheet of paper EXCACTLY as it is.

The shortest way between any 2 points is a direct line, but with big distances that ling would go straight through mother earth. But we can't do that, so we'll have to go over it
Helicopters can't fly, there just so ugly the earth repells them...
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Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 12:51 pm

RE: The Quickest Way Between Two Points...

Sun Mar 12, 2006 1:52 pm

The shortest distance between two points on a oblate spheroid (Earth) is actually a curved line when viewed on a flat map. Great Circle route...

Your parents route was likely routed a little further north than normal to accomodate above average winds on the average more southerly track.

NW B744 B742 B753 B752 A333 A332 A320 A319 DC10 DC9 ARJ CRJ S340
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Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2005 7:01 am

RE: The Quickest Way Between Two Points...

Sun Mar 12, 2006 2:22 pm

Even for perfect conditions aicraft dont fly the shortest path - the same reason you dont drive in a straight line from your house to your local shopping mall going across other people's lawn and your son's playground.
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Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 1:33 pm

RE: The Quickest Way Between Two Points...

Sun Mar 12, 2006 5:58 pm

Quoting Byronsterk (Reply 1):
That's because the world is not flat

Wait a second... So, Earth is not the center of the Universe either?

So many new things to learn, so little time!!!

Quoting PlaneFan (Thread starter):
Was always a straight line, I thought

You can check on : next time , and you'll see the routes of different flights.


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