Average Velocity Word Problems
1. Polar bears are extremely good swimmers. If a polar bear is swimming with an average of 2.6 m/s, how
far will it have traveled after 120 seconds?
2. Tree sloths are the slowest moving mammals. On average, their velocity is 0.743 m/s. How long does
it take a tree sloth moving at this velocity to travel 22.3 m?
3. The cheetah, the fastest of land animals, can run a distance of 274 m in 8.65 seconds at its top speed.
What is the cheetah’s top velocity?
4. The maximum posted speed limit on the U.S. Interstate Highway System may be found in rural areas of
several western states. It is 75 MPH or 121 Km/h or 33.6 m/s. What is the distance, in kilometers,
traveled by a car moving continuously at this speed for 3 ½ hours?
5. The fastest supersonic passenger jet is the Concorde. How long would it take the Concorde to travel
the 6265 km between New York City and London, England, assuming that the jet travels at its maximum
speed of 2,150 km/h during the entire trip? Please express your answer in minutes.
6. The fastest crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by an ocean liner was made on July 7, 1952. The ship, the
S.S. United States, traveled 4727 km east in 3.4 days or 82.6 hours. What was the average velocity of the
7. The peregrine falcon is the fastest of flying birds (and, as a matter of fact, is the fastest living creature). A
falcon can fly 1.73 km downward in 25 s. What is the average velocity of a peregrine falcon?
8. The fastest helicopter, the Westland Lynx, can travel 3.33 km in the forward direction in just 30.0 s.
What is the average velocity of this helicopter? Express your answer in both meters per second and
kilometers per hour.
9. The fastest airplane is the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, a high-altitude spy plane first built in 1964. If an
SR-71 is clocked traveling 15.0 km west in 15.3 s, what is its average velocity in kilometers per hour?
10. Suppose the tern travels 1.70 x 104
km south, only to encounter bad weather. Instead of trying to fly
around the storm, the tern turns around and travels 6.00 x 102
north to wait out the storm. It then turns
around again immediately and flies 1.44 x 104
km south to Antarctica. What are the tern’s average speed
and velocity if it makes this trip in 122 days?
11. Laura is skydiving when at a certain altitude she opens her parachute and drifts toward the ground with
a constant velocity of 6.50 m/s, straight down. What is Laura’s displacement if it takes her 34.0 s to reach
12. A tortoise can run with a speed of 10.0 cm/s, and a hare can run exactly 20 times as fast. In a race,
they both start at the same time, but the hare stops to rest for 2.00 min. The tortoise wins by 20.0 cm. How
long does the race take?