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The wheelbase of the DC-4 is very short relative to the fuselage

DC-4 image

The 4 engines weigh a combined 7,000 pounds. It would seem like even with the weight of the engines, it's not enough to prevent the plane from tipping backwards. If a really fat passenger sat in the back of the pane, it would tip.

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    $\begingroup$ I don't agree it is a duplicate. The question here is specifically about the DC-4, while the linked question addresses modern airliners in general. $\endgroup$
    – kevin
    Mar 20, 2017 at 19:49
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    $\begingroup$ I agree that a more specific answer would be good here. Also related: Which Aircraft Models need a Tripod Jack for tail support at airport? $\endgroup$
    – fooot
    Mar 20, 2017 at 19:50
  • $\begingroup$ @kevin I should have referenced it as "related", not really a duplicate. I was searching for the question with the close dialog and hit the wrong button. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Mar 20, 2017 at 20:04
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    $\begingroup$ Related: Can passenger distribution cause a parked airliner to tip? $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Mar 20, 2017 at 20:05
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    $\begingroup$ What's your question? Clearly the centre of gravity is in front of the rear gear because the plane doesn't tip. Your entire question is just a statement that something that we can empirically see to be false must be true. Obviously, this statement is incorrect. $\endgroup$ Mar 21, 2017 at 8:56

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Although the landing gear are pretty far forward on the DC-4 the weight of the engines places the center of gravity in front of the main landing gear. It's unlikely that a passenger would be heavy enough to tip it, but freight certainly can. When loading freight tipping is prevented with the use of a tail stand, as can be seen in the photos below.

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Image source

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Image source

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    $\begingroup$ Are there any CoG diagrams for the DC-4? Just wondering. $\endgroup$ Mar 21, 2017 at 12:19
  • $\begingroup$ What do they use to support the tail when the DC-4 is taxiing\taking off? $\endgroup$
    – Vikki
    May 24, 2018 at 22:39
  • $\begingroup$ @Sean The tail stand is only needed during loading and unloading. Once all cargo is in place the center of gravity will be forward of the rear landing gear, so it wont tip. But think about the loading process. The door is in the front, so you have to load the rear cargo first. It will be tail-heavy until you load the cargo in the front, then it will be balanced. If you want to see what happens if you're not careful just look closely at my icon photo. $\endgroup$
    – TomMcW
    May 24, 2018 at 22:55
  • $\begingroup$ @TomMcW: Ahh, I see now. Gottit. $\endgroup$
    – Vikki
    May 24, 2018 at 22:57
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    $\begingroup$ @Sean There are a couple of other ways to deal with the problem. The tail of the DC-10 is too high to make a tail stand practical, so it uses a tether to fix the front gear to an anchor point on the ground. $\endgroup$
    – TomMcW
    May 24, 2018 at 23:21

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