Airplanes and Earth’s Rotation

An airplane exists on Earth. It has the same motion as the surface of the Earth, including Earth’s rotating motion. The motion and speed of an airplane are measured relative to Earth’s surface.

Flat-Earthers claim that an airplane should not be able to fly eastward or land. In reality, an airplane is moving relative to the surface. It has Earth’s motion as a component of its motion and does not need to chase Earth’s rotation.

Newton’s first law of motion says:

“An object either remains at rest or continues to move at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by a force.”

When the airplane is on the ground, it already has the same motion as Earth’s surface. During takeoff, the airplane accelerates and changes its speed relative to Earth’s surface. It would retain the speed of the Earth’s surface and only changes its speed relative to the surface.

The atmosphere is part of the Earth and practically moving at the same speed as Earth’s surface. The airplane propels itself against Earth’s atmosphere. It is moving relative to the atmosphere, and consequently, Earth’s surface.