Helicopter and Earth’s Rotating Motion

We cannot travel to another location by hovering inside a helicopter and wait for the Earth to rotate below us until we are above our destination. The reason is the phenomenon of inertia.

Flat-Earthers claim that we cannot do such a thing as ‘proof’ of a motionless Earth. They are wrong. When on the ground, the helicopter itself is already moving at the same velocity as Earth’s surface.

The phenomenon of inertia is explained in Newton’s first law of motion:

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

When the helicopter is on the ground, it is already moving at the same velocity as Earth’s surface. When it lifts off, due to inertia, it will try to retain its initial velocity.

We feel the motion of Earth’s atmosphere as wind. If the atmosphere were stationary relative to the movement of the Earth, we would have felt a 1600 km/h wind. But the wind we are getting is much slower. Our atmosphere is practically not in motion relative to Earth’s surface. Or to put it in another way: our atmosphere is in motion at the same velocity as the Earth.

Because both our atmosphere and the helicopter are practically in motion at the same velocity, the atmosphere does not exert a force to the aircraft. A hovering helicopter stays up there, stationary relative to the surface, unless if it uses its flight control system to move its position relative to the ground.

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