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US Standard Speed (Velocity)

These are the most common measurements::

  • Feet per Second (fps)
  • Miles per Hours (mph)

Speed

Speed in feet per second (fps)

squareThis is a combination of two units (feet and seconds) to make a new one (fps).

If something is traveling at 1 fps it moves 1 foot every second.

Speed in miles per hour (mph)

A bit more complicated, but a mile has 5,280 feet, and an hour has 3,600 seconds, so a mile per hour is:

  • 5280 / 3600 = 1.467 fps (to 3 decimal places)

How did I know to make it 5280/3600, and not 3600/5280 (the other way around)? Read how to Safely Convert From One Unit to Another.

Velocity

Velocity is speed with a direction.

So if something is moving at 5 mph that is a speed.

But if you say it is moving at 5 mph westwards that is a velocity.

If something moves backwards and forwards very fast it has a high speed, but a low (or zero) velocity

More Examples

60 mph is about:

  • how fast you can legally go on a highway
  • the maximum running speed of a cheetah
  • the speed needed to drive one mile in a minute
  • half the freefall speed of a skydiver

35 mph is about:

  • the speed limit in the city
  • going very fast on a bicycle
  • the speed of a racehorse on a short track
  • full running speed of a Bengal Tiger

1 foot per second is:

  • exactly 0.3048 metres per second
  • approximately 0.6818 miles per hour
  • exactly 1.09728 km per hour