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Physics of a Plane



As I was trying to see where potential and kinetic energy are found, I realized that both show up within the liftoff and landing of planes. Starting from rest, the plane then gets onto a runway and starts to speed up rapidly. The speed of the plane and the huge mass of it lead it to have a lot of kinetic energy. As it sarts to lift off the ground and fly, the kinetic energy starts to turn into potential energy. Let's say that the plane which we'll measure at 1000 kg, gets up to a height of 1500 meters. Using the formula PEg=mgh, we can substitute the information we know to find its potential energy. PEg=(1000 kg)(9.81 m/s^2)(1500m) which gives us a potential energy of 14715000 Joules. Now let's find the kinetic energy right before it lands. If the plane is landing at a velocity of 80 m/s we can us the formula KE=1/2mv^2 to find its kinetic energy. KE=1/2(1000 kg)(80 m/s)^2 which gives us a kinetic energy of 3200000 Joules. That is the type of energy output planes can yield.


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