Explained: Why flying isn't impossible on a globe

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if you walk around a maypole with a taut 10 foot rope and keep your left shoulder exactly parallel to the maypole, would your perspective change? no. your body would be in the same relation to the pole as it was 45degrees earlier. your view (the scenery) would change.

Me watching you walk around the Maypole has nothing to do with the position of YOUR body in space compared to the maypole.


edited persons to ease visual
I agree. Howerever you still have to adjust your feet (angle of plane) to walk the circle, even if it is a extremely slight.
Otherwise you could draw a perfect circle using just a ruler.
 

Mick West

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Staff member
I agree. Howerever you still have to adjust your feet (angle of plane) to walk the circle, even if it is a extremely slight.
You have to adjust your feet to walk in a straight line. Try closing your eyes and walking in a straight line.

The normal adjustments we make when walking, driving, or flying are all a lot bigger than the microscopic angle adjustments needed to fly around the world (even if we didn't have the change in the direction of gravity, and the curved atmosphere, to help us)
 

Keith Beachy

Senior Member
So the plane actually does descend by a rate of at least 46 feet per second?
No, the plane does not descend, it remains at the same altitude, and we maintain the same energy level. We have a VVI in the plane, it remains at zero. We remain at the same pressure altitude, and if the pressure systems are the same, we are at the nearly the same absolute altitude when we are level on the earth. each time we move we remain level with respect to the new position.
Have you ever done the EoM of flight. What is the point? Wait till you find out about Coriolis.

I have flown around the world, and never worried about the BS of descending because the earth is like a sphere. However, if you wish to be technical... have at it

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flight_dynamics_(fixed-wing_aircraft)

https://courses.cit.cornell.edu/mae5070/DynamicEquations.pdf

http://adl.stanford.edu/sandbox/gro...onID=061d3e100a597a2108791f73845e15b772c010b1

http://aerostudents.com/files/flightDynamics/flightDynamicsFullVersion.pdf
This one explains why we simplify stuff...

If you do the EoM for flight and for cars, you can see why we are able to treat a round like earth, like a flat earth. Why do we do that? Why does it work; ;why can I fly an aircraft designed and built and pretend the earth is flat? It is all in these EoM related work.

Is there a doubt the earth in not like a ball that is not a perfect sphere? What was the bunk?

If you want, show me the EoM presented are bunk... good luck. Are you a flat earth guy, if so, please show me a map of the earth, the moon, the sun, and the universe.
 

tadaaa

Senior Member
Dangerous semantic territory there. You are just about saying that the Moon doesn't rotate as it orbits Earth.
agreed - in fact my original message had "tilted" but I used "rotated" to mirror provemewrong's post


I took rotated to mean a pilots term for adjusting the angle of the nose - but I maybe wrong on that too
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I took rotated to mean a pilots term for adjusting the angle of the nose - but I maybe wrong on that too
"Rotation" is just for takeoff. The nose adjustment are called "attitude adjustment", or just moving the nose up or down (when learning to fly the instructor would tell me "nose up", or "nose down").
 

Keith Beachy

Senior Member
agreed - in fact my original message had "tilted" but I used "rotated" to mirror provemewrong's post
I took rotated to mean a pilots term for adjusting the angle of the nose - but I maybe wrong on that too
We call takeoff, rotation, to lift off. At rotation speed we raise the nose in a second or two to a pitch angle to lift off.
as seen above...

The earths curve is approximately 8 inches per mile squared. With planes flying at 500mph, the earth would curve beneath them around 31.5 miles every hour. In order for the plane to keep up with the curvature and not steadily head towards space, the plane would have to descend 2777 feet per minute or 46 feet per second!
Since there's at least one pilot here this should be an easy one to solve.
Lucky I never thought about this bunk when I flew all over the big blue marble.
There is no adjusting the nose for the earth's curvature, that is bunk. And saying we would go into space because we are level, is super-bunk. The many posts above have covered how as the plane moves it continues to remain normal the earth. What is normal... see the posts above with the vectors relative to earth.

I think the problem is thinking about the earth as a ball, and unable to grasp the size of this ball we live on. There is a plane circling a ball in one diagram above, if we size the aircraft to scale, we would not see it. Is the OP in support of the mythical flat earth no one has a map or math for? Flat earth would explain gravity with?

I have hand flown a KC-135 for hours from Diego Garcia to Okinawa, and made zero adjustments for the earth being a big blue marble. We did not make LEO, or go to the moon, we would not have enough energy. We also used Celestial navigation which would not work on a flat earth and we did not get lost. (9.5 hours, I flew .81 MACH indicated)
 
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We call takeoff, rotation, to lift off. At rotation speed we raise the nose in a second or two to a pitch angle to lift off.
as seen above...

Lucky I never thought about this bunk when I flew all over the big blue marble.
There is no adjusting the nose for the earth's curvature, that is bunk. And saying we would go into space because we are level, is super-bunk. The many posts above have covered how as the plane moves it continues to remain normal the earth. What is normal... see the posts above with the vectors relative to earth.

I think the problem is thinking about the earth as a ball, and unable to grasp the size of this ball we live on. There is a plane circling a ball in one diagram above, if we size the aircraft to scale, we would not see it. Is the OP in support of the mythical flat earth no one has a map or math for? Flat earth would explain gravity with?

I have hand flown a KC-135 for hours from Diego Garcia to Okinawa, and made zero adjustments for the earth being a big blue marble. We did not make LEO, or go to the moon, we would not have enough energy. We also used Celestial navigation which would not work on a flat earth and we did not get lost. (9.5 hours, I flew .81 MACH indicated)
Didn't Mick just say there were attiude adjustments?
 

Keith Beachy

Senior Member
Didn't Mick just say there were attiude adjustments?
I have never made a conscious attitude adjustment for the curvature of the earth. Please point out the term in the EoMs I presented which would require an adjustment for the curvature of the earth; how big would the adjustment . We remain the same distance above the earth (sort of) which means our energy does not change, what adjustment is it? I have flown 10 hours at 550 true airspeed without making any pitch adjustment due to the curve of the earth... what adjustment do you think I would have to make?
What is the sort of? What if the pressure changes in an area, our aircraft to maintain altitude with gain or loose energy.

There are constant attitude adjustments, but not for the curvature of the earth, that is bunk to me.
https://www.aviationweather.ws/013_Altimetry.php
When we fly from low/high to high/low pressure areas we may need to make adjustments.
The plane wants to climb as we burn fuel, we make a thrust adjustment, changing the thrust might require a pitch change.
 

Hama Neggs

Senior Member.
Does it all come down to small "trim" adjustments needed to maintain the same altitude? Any minuscule part of that which relates to Earth's curve would be lost in the noise, right?
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
You have to adjust your feet to walk in a straight line. Try closing your eyes and walking in a straight line.

The normal adjustments we make when walking, driving, or flying are all a lot bigger than the microscopic angle adjustments needed to fly around the world (even if we didn't have the change in the direction of gravity, and the curved atmosphere, to help us)
ok ...so i got if the plane is a mile long, the nose adjsutment to go round the earth is .014degrees. and there are 21 747s in a mile... now i'm stuck... so what would the angle be ? or does length of the plane not matter, only the tip of the nose matters?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Does it all come down to small "trim" adjustments needed to maintain the same altitude? Any minuscule part of that which relates to Earth's curve would be lost in the noise, right?
When we trim (adjust the elevator setting of) the plane we don't trim it so we are flying perpendicular to gravity. We trim it so our vertical speed is zero. Like this:


Depending on your actual airspeed and altitude this will result in a variety of attitudes (nose positions). For example, if you are going very slow, to maintain zero vertical speed you need a higher nose position than if you are going very fast.

If your vertical air speed is zero, then you stay the same distance above sea level (well, the same pressure altitude), so you fly around the curvature of the earth.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Howerever you still have to adjust your feet (angle of plane) to walk the circle, even if it is a extremely slight.
i dont think it really would be possible to adjust your feet if the rigid rope is 4,000 miles long. it's SO minute. but yea maybe a teeny teeny tiny itsy bitsy bit.
 

tadaaa

Senior Member
I think that most people commenting on this thread accept that gravity is the hidden force that allows a plane to fly "straight and level" and yet fly around the earth

but - gravity (aka mass) is not uniform around the planet, it is weaker in some places and stronger in others, according to the uneven mass - does this effect flying at all?

if OT please remove
 
When we trim (adjust the elevator setting of) the plane we don't trim it so we are flying perpendicular to gravity. We trim it so our vertical speed is zero. Like this:


Depending on your actual airspeed and altitude this will result in a variety of attitudes (nose positions). For example, if you are going very slow, to maintain zero vertical speed you need a higher nose position than if you are going very fast.

If your vertical air speed is zero, then you stay the same distance above sea level (well, the same pressure altitude), so you fly around the curvature of the earth.
Awesome! This was exactly the type of answer I was looking for with this thread. Thanks for not just throwing out insults like everyone else I have asked (not here but everywhere else).
 

Efftup

Senior Member.
Yes? I think lol
Sorry this was a reply about a banked circle.
This video shows a great example:
This is the Nardo Test track in Italy:
The four lanes have a specific "hands off" speed where you can just drive without your hands on the wheel and it will still keep going round the track:
Obviously you can skip a bit round the video but watch between 30 and 40 seconds to see the whole circular track, then skip to about 4 mins to see what it looks like form the perspective of a driver. As they said, in the outside lane you can drive at 149mph without steering (apart from adjusting for the horribly bumpy track)
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
I really like this comparison. For me to visualize better let's replace the pendulum with the spirit level. Let's pretend there's no elevation on earth, just the smooth curved surface. You are saying it would be possible (in theory) to travel the surface of the spherical earth without the level ever changing ?
Yes, precisely. This is the same as what the autopilot is doing. You keep the bubble in the centre of the level and the level will rotate itself as you go around the world. And the minor wobbles as you carry the level, which you have to correct for as you travel, are far larger than any overall effect due to curvature.

Basically if you balance the force of lift and force of gravity then you will always stay at the same height above the centre of the Earth, so you will naturally follow the curve. Just like a ship sailing on the sea will follow the curve, a plane "sailing" on a particular pressure level (which is what the autopilot is sensing, after all), will also follow the curve.
 
So there are all these forces going on, you can never see the curvature from the perspective of earth even if you flew around the world with an unchanging level. Everything in the sky is curved, yet you can see flat clouds.
Do you not see how all this would not only be possible, but also be more logical on a flat earth? You have to at least admit the potential for deception.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
You have to at least admit the potential for deception.
Sure, but I checked, and the Earth is actually round. You can tell by the position and size of the sun, the ISS, and other things like a measurably curved horizon, or the curve I measured on the surface of Folsom lake, things that only work on a round Earth model.

Consider how you started this thread.
In order for the plane to keep up with the curvature and not steadily head towards space, the plane would have to descend 2777 feet per minute or 46 feet per second!
Hopefully you now realize just how wrong your math was there, and hopefully you have a better understanding of how planes fly around the globe. My real hope though is that you don't just immediately jump to the next thing and go "what about this". Have a think about it. Draw a diagram. Search google for your question (most question you can ask already have answers).

Challenging the establishment is great, and Flat Eartherism is an interesting source of experiments you can do. But it's demonstrably false that the earth is flat. You CAN verify this for yourself. If you want to be taken seriously, you actually have to do some work.
 
Sure, but I checked, and the Earth is actually round. You can tell by the position and size of the sun, the ISS, and other things like a measurably curved horizon, or the curve I measured on the surface of Folsom lake, things that only work on a round Earth model.

Consider how you started this thread.


Hopefully you now realize just how wrong your math was there, and hopefully you have a better understanding of how planes fly around the globe. My real hope though is that you don't just immediately jump to the next thing and go "what about this". Have a think about it. Draw a diagram. Search google for your question (most question you can ask already have answers).

Challenging the establishment is great, and Flat Eartherism is an interesting source of experiments you can do. But it's demonstrably false that the earth is flat. You CAN verify this for yourself. If you want to be taken seriously, you actually have to do some work.
Interested in your Folsom lake experiment. Can I find that info on this site?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I think the original questions has been sufficiently answered. New claims in new threads please.
 
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