Topic Author
Posts: 2579
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2001 3:29 am

Great Circle Formula

Sat Aug 11, 2001 1:31 pm

Could anyone give me an accurate version of the Great Circle Formula and present it so it makes sense? Every site I go to seems to not know about the algebraic rule (grouping symbols, exponents, etc.) and presents it with different notations. I figure I would ask people in this forum because pilots need to figure out distances. Thanx!!!
I don't know, so this is my signature.
Posts: 1066
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2007 1:29 pm

RE: Great Circle Formula

Sat Aug 11, 2001 11:30 pm

You'll find lots of discussion by trying "Search" and entering "Great Circle".

Have fun with the numbers!

Posts: 6083
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 1999 7:43 am

RE: Great Circle Formula

Mon Aug 13, 2001 8:03 am

Yup, Ed Williams site is helpful for that and other things too. Notice that you'll need to decide whether you want to assume the Earth is a sphere or a spheroid (the slightly-squashed sphere that gives more accurate results). The formulas for the spheroid are far more complicated, but Williams' site takes care of that too. If you have accurate WGS84 lat-lons for the airports you're interested in you can use his calculator to get distances accurate to-- well, to whatever the lat-lons are accurate to.

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