Why Flying Against Earth's Rotation Doesn't Speed Up?

When you’re on a flight, jetting off to your summer getaway or work expedition, the last thing you’re probably thinking about is how fast the plane is zooming. It’s mind-boggling how a giant metal tube with wings manages to defy gravity and whisk a bunch of people off on holiday. Even with all the science and super long equations behind it, the mere thought of being 30,000 feet above the ground is enough to make our throats feel drier than the Sahara. Now, conspiracy theorists have come up with yet another puzzling aerospace-related question: why doesn’t flying against the Earth’s rotation speed up flights?

In a post on Facebook, a member of the Flat Earth Research group, posed a puzzling question: if the Earth is spinning at about 1,000 miles per hour at the equator, why doesn’t a jumbo jet just zip across the sky? It read, “Plane flying from east to west at 300 mph…The Earth rotates from west towards east at 1,400 mph under the plane…How does the plane not reach its destination 1,400 mph faster?”

While it might sound like a genuine question to some, here’s an explanation to break their bubble. When an aeroplane takes off, it doesn’t suddenly break into a supersonic sprint. Yes, due to inertia. According to Isaac Newton’s first law of motion, objects in motion—like the Earth’s rotation—tend to stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. So, the aeroplane keeps its rotational velocity (how fast it’s spinning with the Earth) because of this law, making sure our flights stay smooth and steady. Now, if you are still scratching your head, here’s a little example to better understand the situation.

Imagine you’re in a car driving down the highway at a steady speed. If you throw a ball straight up in the air inside the car, where does it land? It lands back in your hand because, just like the car and everything inside it, the ball is already moving at the same speed as the car.

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