Thursday, June 26, 2008

Who Needs 80 Days?

Sorry about yesterday. I didn't have access to the site.

There is only one airport on a fictional planet, and that is on the north pole. There are 3 airplanes and lots of fuel at the airport. A full tank of an airplane lasts exactly to the south pole, however the airplanes can transfer their fuel to one another.

Your mission is to fly round the globe with at least one airplane, making sure to cross the south pole. All airplanes must return to the airport.


  1. so where else would the planes land if there is only one airport? =p

  2. Good question and one I struggled with when I was attempting this question. Let's just assume it works. You can imagine they are jeeps on a planet with no oceans (in other words, it's crossable) if you want.

  3. Two planes fly halfway to the south pole (where they both have half a tank). Then one plane transfers its fuel to the other, which continues to the south pole and halfway back (exhausting its fuel). It is met by another plane (with half a tank) that transfers its remaining fuel to the first plane.

  4. That mysterious anonymous person was me. I just decided to register on Blogger. =D

  5. Good solution, but I was thinking in thirds.

    Send 2 planes 1/3 of the way, fuel up the 1st plane from the 2nd and send the first one on to 2/3 of the distance while sending the second one back to the airport.

    Repeat step 1 with the 2nd and 3rd plane. Plane 1 goes back to the airport. Plane 3 will fly onto the 2/3 mark.

    Both plane 2 and 3 are now at the 2/3 mark and they both have 2/3 fuel. Plane 2 refuels plane 3 (with 1/3 tank).

    Plane 2 flies back to the 1/3 mark, where it is refueled by plane 1, and they both fly back to the airport.

    Plane 3 continues on over the south pole. It has a full tank when it starts from the 2/3 mark. It continues right to the 1/3 mark on the other side, where it is met by plane 1 which flies down the other side. Refueling takes place and they both come back to the airport.


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