GRAPHIC METHOD OF VECTOR ADDITIONVectorsCP-02Page 16Rev. 0Figure 16 Rectangular Coordinate SystemGRAPHIC METHOD OF VECTOR ADDITIONVectors are added to determine the magnitude and direction of the resultant.EO 1.3ADD vectors using the following methods:a.GraphicalVectorAdditionComponent vectors are added to determine the resultant vector. For example, when two ormore forces are acting on a single object, vector addition is used to determine the direction andmagnitude of the net (resultant) force on the object. Consider an airplane that travels due eastfor 100 miles at 500 mph, then NE for 50 miles at 400 mph, and finally north for 500 miles at500 mph. Vector addition can be used to determine the net distance the airplane is from its pointof origin or to predict when it will arrive at its destination.MethodsUsedtoAddVectorsSeveral methods have been developed to add vectors. In this chapter, the graphic method willbe explained. The next chapter will explain the component addition method. Either one of thesemethods will provide fairly accurate results. If a high degree of accuracy is required, ananalytical method using geometric and trigonometric functions is required.UsingtheGraphicMethodBefore attempting to use this method, thefollowing equipment is needed: standard linear(nonlog) graph paper, ruler, protractor, and pencil.The graphic method utilizes a five-step process.Step 1.Plot the first vector on therectangular (x-y) axes.a.Ensure that the samescale is used on bothaxes.b.Place the tail (beginning)of the first vector at theorigin of the axes asshown in Figure 16.

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