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Question

If you were in a plane and shot a bullet vertically down from a gun and dropped a bullet by hand, at the same time, would they reach the earth at the same time?
Asked by: Jorgen

Answer

Even if you fire a bullet straight down from a plane at a high enough altitude for it to reach 'terminal velocity' before hitting the ground (that is when air resistance would slow the bullet until the force of gravity exactly balances drag and a constant fall rate is established) the bullet's initial velocity from the gun would still give it a head start and let it reach the ground before a dropped bullet that started from the same height at zero vertical velocity.
Answered by: Paul Walorski, B.A. Physics, Part-time Physics Instructor


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