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GRAPHIC METHOD OF VECTOR ADDITION Vectors CP-02 Page 16 Rev. 0 Figure 16   Rectangular Coordinate System GRAPHIC METHOD OF VECTOR ADDITION Vectors are added to determine the magnitude and direction of the resultant. EO 1.3 ADD vectors using the following methods: a. Graphical Vector Addition Component vectors are added to determine the resultant vector.  For example, when two or more forces are acting on a single object, vector addition is used to determine the direction and magnitude of the net (resultant) force on the object.  Consider an airplane that travels due east for 100 miles at 500 mph, then NE for 50 miles at 400 mph, and finally north for 500 miles at 500 mph.  Vector addition can be used to determine the net distance the airplane is from its point of origin or to predict when it will arrive at its destination. Methods Used to Add Vectors Several methods have been developed to add vectors.  In this chapter, the graphic method will be explained.  The next chapter will explain the component addition method.  Either one of these methods  will  provide  fairly  accurate  results.    If  a  high  degree  of  accuracy  is  required,  an analytical method using geometric and trigonometric functions is required. Using the Graphic Method Before   attempting  to  use  this  method,  the following 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   the rectangular (x-y) axes. a. Ensure   that   the   same scale   is  used  on  both axes. b. Place the tail (beginning) of the first vector at the origin   of   the    axes   as shown in Figure 16.


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