The airplane is a means of transportation that allows us to move large amounts of cargo over long distances in a relatively short time. That is why, over the years, air transport has become one of the most efficient. Today we are going to discover how to load an airplane.
When it comes to air transport, it is very important to take into account the weight and distribution of the cargo in an airplane. A pilot must know the weights, the load distribution in order to optimize the flight and reach the destination without problems.
What types of weights do we find?
Before taking off, the different types of weight that the aircraft may contain must be taken into account. The pilot must know them all in order to be able to operate as safely as possible.
Maximum weight with zero fuel: this measure refers to the maximum weight that an aircraft can be loaded with without taking fuel into account.
Take-off weight: The total weight of the aircraft at the time of take-off.
Landing weight: The total weight of the aircraft at the time of landing. Normally, this weight is the takeoff weight minus the weight of fuel consumed.
Empty weight: The weight of the aircraft taking into account the installed equipment.
Influence of the load situation on an aircraft.
Knowing the center of gravity of an aircraft is fundamental for a pilot, since it will influence the way the aircraft is maneuvered. Depending on the location of the load on the aircraft, the center of gravity will be influenced.
If the center of gravity is more towards the front of the aircraft, the flight will be more stable. On the other hand, maneuvering will be more difficult because more force must be applied to the controls. It should be noted that loading an aircraft closer to the nose will also cause more fuel to be expended and increase the stall speed of the aircraft.
If the center of gravity is more towards the rear of the aircraft, the flight will be less stable. Even so, it will be easier to maneuver, fuel burn and stall speed will be reduced.
Why is it important to know the load of an aircraft?
Aircraft with a high load will need more runway length to take off and will require a higher thrust force than an aircraft with a lower load. The manner of maneuvering will be highly dependent on weight.
To ensure that weight is taken into account, the pilot should fill in the load and trim charts. The weight of the aircraft, the fuel loaded, the passengers, the cargo, and also the temperature and altitude of the airport must be taken into account when filling in the document.
Knowing the aircraft load will allow optimizing the flight route, reducing flight time and fuel expenditure.