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Electronic Components/Airplane Load / Weight.


Commercial Airplane Operators
Commercial Airplane Op  
QUESTION: Dear Deirdre

1. Is the Cargo carrying capacity (Load, Weight) fixed or standard in all Commercial Airplane Carriers ?. Is this done for Security measure for not exceeding the total weight, load of the airplane i.e passengers, cargo, fuels, airplane etc ?  

2. Is there a certain Total Load or Weight of the Airplane which cannot be exceeded ?. Is this identified by Electronic Instruments panel, Alarms etc indicating the Total Weight, Load of the Airplane to the pilot before flight takes off ?.

3. In case if the Total Load or Weight of a Airplane is exceeded
and still the Pilot tries a take off, can it lead to plane crash ?

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

ANSWER: There are parameters for all aircraft which cannot be exceeded - these include not only take-off weight, but balance as well. In the USAF, this is the job of the Loadmaster who is responsible for loading and balancing the aircraft. Some aircraft may have instruments, but most of the work is done when baggage is checked - this is one reason that all bags are weighed.

As long as an aircraft can get off the ground, the weight won't likely cause the plane to crash - but the real issue would be how much runway is needed to achieve take-off, assuming it can take off at all. And after take-off, a heavy load will cause the aircraft to handle very differently. A larger load will increase the stall speed.

This document speaks to load, center of gravity and stall speed, which is one of the issues causing many accidents with aircraft.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Deirdre

Thank you.

Can this be considered as a part of Airplane Load / Stress Testing methods ?.

Can we derive some mathematical formula or equation to calculate / compute the Total Weight of the Machine (Airplane) before takeoff ?

Parameters : temperature, maximum power of the engines etc

1 Ton = 1000 kg

Example :

1. Aircraft Weight : x kg - Construction (Manufacturing)
2. Fuels Weight : y kg - Construction (Manufacturing)
3. Passengers Weight : z kg - Load - Includes Crew Cabin - Pilot, CoPilot, Captain etc - Load
4. Cargo Weight : - n kg - Load
5. Miscellaneous Weight - Furniture - Seats, Tables, Utensils - Dishes,Glasses etc) - m kg - Load

Total Weight of the Aircraft W in Tons = x + y + z + n + m.

Should we add safety factor value to this total weight ?

Do you feel electronic instrument panels calculating and showing the Total
Weight (Load) of the aircraft can be useful for Pilot before he takes a take off ?. Alarms will buzz to the Cabin Crew if Overload occurs within the aircraft before the Take Off.

Among different accidents, which are the most likely to occur because of Aircraft Overweight ?

1. During Takeoff.
2. During Landing.
3. During Aircraft flight (i.e. After Plane Takeoff and Before landing).

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

Actually, the airlines have a very good idea of the weight of the aircraft without needing instrumentation - probably within a few hundred pounds, and that is sufficient in most cases. Considering that the fuel weight constantly decreases while the aircraft is in flight, as long as the aircraft is not overloaded prior to take-off, it will handle well during flight and landing.

Airlines move many people on a daily basis, and have calculated the optimal formulas and safety margins as well as economy in order to manage aircraft weight. With the safety margins in place, more equipment would just be superfluous.

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Deirdre Hebert


I can answer most questions regarding electronic components, what they are and how to use them.


I worked for a number of years in the electronic component testing industry, designing and building automated test equipment for the electronic manufacturing industry.

Numerous technical manuals for the equipment we built.

UNH, CCAF and others

Past/Present Clients
General Electric, Motorola, Ford, Sensonor and others.

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