Home > Problem of the Week > Archive List > Detail

<< Prev 2/11/2007 Next >>

See Tom Fly

Tom Swift took off in his new experimental airplane and flew 1000 miles north, 1000 miles west, 1000 miles south, and 1000 miles east, returning to the precise spot from which he departed. He then took off from the same location as before, but this time he flew only 500 miles north, 500 miles west, 500 miles south, and 500 miles east before he landed. Where did Tom land?

NOTE: This is not a trick question and there are no obscure physical laws involved. The rotation of the earth is not to be considered, and Tom was more than 160 miles away from both poles at all times.


Hint: Use your finger to trace his two flights on a globe.


Solution Commentary: The key is to realize the difference between longitude lines and latitude lines.....which are parallel? Now, how does that help you?