# Can I use the load factor to estimate the lift?

If I have a fixed aircraft as the baseline, then I am not sure the specific flight condition, can I use the load factor to estimate the lift on the wing?

• Besides, I can have access to the mass and the mass distribution of the wing. – Allen Huang Mar 30 '19 at 22:32

If you know where the CG is, and where the aerodynamic centers of the wing and the tail are (I am assuming a traditional configuration) so you know the distance from the aero center of the wing to the CG = d_wing, and similar for the tail, and you know the moment the wing generates (ignore the moment about the tail...it is small), and you know the load factor, then you can figure out the total lift generated by the wing. You have two equations:

Sum of moments about CG = 0 (constant pitch rate)

d_wing x liftWing + d_tail x liftTail + wingMoment = 0


Sum of lifts equals load factor times weight of aircraft

liftWing + liftTail = loadFactor x weight


Now solve for liftWing.

If you mean total lift force, then yes you can as Lift = Load Factor * Aircraft Weight.

• The lift you get from that includes the lift from the fuselage and the tailplane. And it is a vector sum so yes the tailplane does matter. – Ville Niemi Mar 30 '19 at 23:34
• That’s what I meant by total lifting force. – Carlo Felicione Mar 31 '19 at 0:11
• Do you mean the load factor that I get from the handbook is the total load factor not just the load factor for the wing? – Allen Huang Mar 31 '19 at 0:35
• @CarloFelicione Yes, the reason I commented is because the question spoke about lift of the wing. But you can discuss that with Allen. – Ville Niemi Mar 31 '19 at 0:53
• @CarloFelicione Could you tell me how to get the load factor for the wing? – Allen Huang Mar 31 '19 at 1:30