Why does the PA-28 C.G. envelope have the top left corner cut off rather than allowing higher weights at a forward C.G. like it does at the aft C.G.?

enter image description here


  • $\begingroup$ It isn't just small airplanes, I've seen lots of business jets that look the same. $\endgroup$
    – Lnafziger
    Dec 31 '16 at 4:10
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The 727, 747, and 767 also have such an envelope. $\endgroup$
    – Terry
    Dec 31 '16 at 7:44
  • $\begingroup$ Please attribute the image with the source. $\endgroup$
    – Simon
    Dec 31 '16 at 10:57
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Possible duplicate of How are the limits of the center of gravity chart established? $\endgroup$
    – kevin
    Dec 31 '16 at 21:03

With "top left corner" you mean the combination of a heavy airplane and a forward cg location.

This is to limit maximum stick forces. Manoeuvring (= flight at a specified load factor ≠ 1) needs force proportional to the distance between the cg and the neutral point ("static margin") and the mass of the airplane. There are several situations in which certification requires not to exceed specific maximum forces. For example, FAR Part 23.145 says:

(b) Unless otherwise required, it must be possible to carry out the following maneuvers without requiring the application of single-handed control forces exceeding those specified in §23.143(c). The trimming controls must not be adjusted during the maneuvers:


(c) At speeds above VMO/MMO, and up to the maximum speed shown under §23.251, a maneuvering capability of 1.5 g must be demonstrated to provide a margin to recover from upset or inadvertent speed increase.

Another would be out of trim situations as those in Part 23.255:

(f) In the out-of-trim condition specified in paragraph (a) of this section, it must be possible from an overspeed condition at VDF/MDF to produce at least 1.5 g for recovery by applying not more than 125 pounds of longitudinal control force using either the primary longitudinal control alone or the primary longitudinal control and the longitudinal trim system.

  • $\begingroup$ Is Vdf the demonstrated diving speed? Also, where may one find such information if it is not in the POH nor in the TCDS? $\endgroup$
    – Pugz
    Dec 31 '16 at 22:32
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Pugz: Yes, VDF is the demonstrated dive speed, so Mach effects can be included to lower the dive speed from the usual VD value. For the PA-28 the regular VD applies (VDF/MDF are used for jets only). Part 23.335 defines those speeds (but not VDF explicitly). $\endgroup$ Jan 1 '17 at 21:37
  • $\begingroup$ Very cool, thanks! $\endgroup$
    – Pugz
    Jan 1 '17 at 21:56

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.