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A plane travels from Orlando to Denver and back again.
On the five-hour trip from Orlando to Denver, the plane has a tailwind of 40 miles per hour.
On the return trip from Denver to Orlando, the plane faces a headwind of 40 miles per hour.
This trip takes six hours. What is the speed of the airplane in still air?
Let s = plane speed in still air
(s+40) = effective speed with the wind
(s-40) = effective speed against
The two trips are the same distance, write a distance equation Dist = speed * time
6(s-40) = 5(s+40)
6s - 240 = 5s + 200
6s - 5s = 200 + 240
s = 440 mph in still air
Check this by finding the actual distances, they should be the same
6*400 = 2400 mi
5*480 = 2400 mi