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Math Help - Application type question

  1. #1
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    Application type question

    Hi guys having a lot of trouble with this, and not sure how to get it started:

    You observe a plane approaching overheadand assume that its speed is 550 miles per hour. The angle of elevation of the plane is 16deg at one time and 57deg one minute later. Approximate the altitude of the plane.


    please help
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  2. #2
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    Re: Application type question

    I assume that the plane flies along a straight horizontal line passing directly above the observer:



    The problem should have specified this; otherwise, I am not sure it is solvable.

    Express d_1 and d_2 through h and the angles and equate d_1-d_2 to 550 / 60.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Application type question

    Hi mate i dont really understand this at all can you please solve it for me. I f you can please?
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  4. #4
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    Re: Application type question

    Fill in the appropriate trigonometric function instead of ... in the following formulas: \frac{h}{d_1}=\ldots(16^\circ) and \frac{h}{d_2}=\ldots(57^\circ). If you don't know which function to write, go over the definitions of the main trigonometric functions (sine, cosine and tangent) in your textbook or in Wikipedia.

    From there we have d_1=\frac{h}{\dots(16)} and d_2=\frac{h}{\dots(57)}. We also know that the plane flies 550 miles per hour, or 550 / 60 miles per minute. Therefore, d_1 - d_2 = 550/60. This gives you an equation on h.
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