Why do helicopters not move when stationary?


Why when the earth is rotating beneath them it stays in the same place?

In: Engineering

As the earth rotates it also moves the air along with it. The helicopter is hanging in the air, so it is moved along with the air.


Think of the atmosphere (air) as a fluid (scientific definition is a gas or liquid). The heli is in that fluid and moves with it. Imagine how it would look underwater (a denser fluid). Same thing.

Because the helicopter isn’t high enough to be outside of the earth’s atmosphere. If it was higher, that would indeed happen.

Which is why we see video of the earth moving under the International Space Station, say. But why, if you stand on the front seat of a moving bus and jump up, you won’t land on the seat behind.

The rotation includes the atmosphere above it (just like it includes water on its surface), and the helicopter is moved along with the atmosphere it’s hovering in. If the atmosphere were not moving along with the earth, we’d face 1,000 mph winds at the equator (and winds of hundreds of miles per hour almost everywhere else, at least everywhere where there is significant populations).