If I were to fly direct from from East to West, and then in the same aircraft do the return trip from West to East, assuming there is no wind on the earth, would both journeys take the same amount of time? This is of interest because logic tells me that the Earth's rotation should make the return trip longer.

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    $\begingroup$ Engines are moving the aircraft related to the air around, the speed relative to the air will be the same. So the only parameter that can play a role is how the air is moving related to the ground. In your question you seem to state there is no wind. So the air is immobile related to the Earth. So the trips take the same time, the Earth rotation plays no role. If there was wind blowing in one direction, then it would shorten the flight time in that direction, whatever it is. This is why crossing the Atlantic using the jet streams takes less time from North America to Europe. $\endgroup$ – mins Jan 20 '16 at 18:19
  • $\begingroup$ I think I just got this question. He is talking about the "apparent" time that has passed in the airplane compared to the actual time because the earth's rotation causes the timezones to shift with or against the airplane, causing an apparent shorter or longer flight when comparing local times to the actual flight time. $\endgroup$ – SMS von der Tann Jan 21 '16 at 14:26
  • $\begingroup$ @SMSvonderTann The way that I read the question, the OP believes that the atmosphere does not rotate with the earth, which would allow the earth to spin beneath you and either help or hinder your progress across the ground depending on your direction of travel... $\endgroup$ – Lnafziger Jan 21 '16 at 17:06
  • $\begingroup$ @Lnafziger I think this has to do more with perception of local time at the origin and destination airports than with actual wind and stuff like that. $\endgroup$ – SMS von der Tann Jan 21 '16 at 17:11
  • $\begingroup$ @SMSvonderTann Well, since he asks if they will "take the same amount of time" and thinks that "the Earth's rotation should make the return trip longer", and he never mentions time zones, I don't really see it... Maybe he will come on and clarify for us though. $\endgroup$ – Lnafziger Jan 21 '16 at 17:23

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