For my math exploration (IB) I am doing something related to aircraft. So I was wondering what the weights of the horizontal and vertical stabilisers were. If you do know the weights please state the source of the information too.

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    $\begingroup$ The wings are where fuel is stored, so their weight change depending on how much fuel is on board. Are you referring simply to the weight of the wing structure? By "the back ones", are you referring to the horizontal stabilizer? $\endgroup$ – J. Hougaard Aug 6 '16 at 13:49
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    $\begingroup$ I don't know if it helps, but the basic operating weight of the 13 747-400 freighters that I have current data for runs from a low of 351,088 lb to a high of 365,970 lb. $\endgroup$ – Terry Aug 7 '16 at 6:51
  • $\begingroup$ If you're trying to approximate the center of mass, the computation of the longitudinal component is required to be done before every flight of large aircraft as a proper CG (which is what the center of mass is) is critical to the safe operation of the flight. To get the longitudinal CG is simply a matter of taking the known CG of the empty aircraft and adding to it what you put in the aircraft. So, would that calculation satisfy the requirements of your math exploration? $\endgroup$ – Terry Aug 7 '16 at 17:34
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    $\begingroup$ For Boeing 747 aircraft, the information you're seeking can be found in the WEIGHT AND BALANCE CONTROL AND LOADING MANUAL that Boeing issues for each aircraft manufactured. See the COMPONENT WEIGHTS AND BALANCE ARMS starting in section 1-86-001. A number of these manuals, all out of date as I don't keep them up, are at terryliittschwager.com/wbmanuals.php. $\endgroup$ – Terry Aug 7 '16 at 21:52

From my time as an intern at the plant at Paine Field, I know that a 747-400 wing and center fuselage section weighs 42 tons. That's just the structure itself.


From the table in this answer: the tail group of the 747-100 and 747-200 is 11,850 lbs. In order to find the weight of horizontal and vertical stabiliser, we can divide up the weight according to tailplane surface.

Table 9-2 in Torenbeek gives the ratio of horizontal tail surface/wing surface as 0.267 in table 9-2, for both the 100 and the 200. Wikipedia gives the wing area as 511 m$^2$, so horizontal tail area is 136 m$^2$.

In the same book table 9-3, vertical tail surface ratio is given as 0.196 so vertical tail area is 100 m$^2$.

Weight for the 747-100/200 is therefore:

  • Horizontal stabiliser = 136/236 * 11,850 = 6,830 lbs
  • Vertical stabiliser = 100/236 * 11,850 = 5,020 lbs

Above weights is with all equipment installed: actuators, hydraulic system lines, rudder & elevators, stabiliser incidence electric motors etc.


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