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62 votes

How are fighter jets allowed to be flown by one pilot even with maximum take off weights exceeding 12,500 lb?

There are actually two different answers to this question. First, your information that all airplanes over 12,500 lbs. must have two pilots is outdated. Now, while most such planes require two pilots (...
HiddenWindshield's user avatar
57 votes
Accepted

Is it possible to install a bike rack on a Cessna 172?

Is it practically possible to do that? Is it okay in terms of weight, CG? Bikes (depending on make and model) are not all that heavy and in this picture they are more or less center mass and would ...
Dave's user avatar
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45 votes
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What if all passengers pay to check in extra baggage?

To answer the questions as asked, We won't depart over the maximum takeoff weight. We'll do something to bring the takeoff weight down to not exceed the limit. Generally, people fly as scheduled if ...
Ralph J's user avatar
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43 votes
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Do all aircraft carry depleted uranium as counterweights?

From my research, it looks like about 0.1% of all aircraft carry depleted uranium counterweights. The Systematic Radiological Assessment of Exemptions for Source and Byproduct Materials (NUREG-1717), ...
Tanner Swett's user avatar
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41 votes
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Why is this plane struggling to gain altitude?

According to the video's information: EMB-721 Sertanejo heavy and insane takeoff in Carlos Prates This is "EMB-721 Sertanejo heavy and insane takeoff in Carlos Prates. Full fuel, 6 on board plus ...
PcMan's user avatar
  • 560
35 votes
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Can an airline reject a passenger for being overweight?

Yes. If carriage of said person on a particular flight would cause the aircraft to be overloaded or outside of its CG envelope, the airline has full right to refuse them passage for safety reasons. ...
Romeo_4808N's user avatar
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34 votes

Is it possible to install a bike rack on a Cessna 172?

Just eyeballing your image, the CG looks OK, and it's possible to put that much weight into the interior of the plane just fine, so the weight is OK. The aerodynamics on the other hand - yeah, no. ...
Dan Pichelman's user avatar
31 votes

Why do pilots have to calculate their center of gravity? Couldn't this simply be measured?

It would be possible to design a system that computes an airplane's weight and C of G from the landing gear load in real time, either by incorporating load cells into the gear legs, or measuring ...
John K's user avatar
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28 votes
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What kind of problems can a flight have if passenger weight is miscalculated?

In general, an incorrect takeoff weight can have serious consequences for an airliner, especially when the actual TOW is close to the RTOW (regulated takeoff weight, see e.g. this question: What is ...
Bianfable's user avatar
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27 votes

Why is there a maximum landing weight limit?

At the instant of touchdown, any vertical kinetic energy the plane possesses must be absorbed by the landing gear, which thereafter must bear the entire weight of the plane. That kinetic energy ...
niels nielsen's user avatar
23 votes

What if all passengers pay to check in extra baggage?

The situation you described actually happened recently in flights to India from the Middle East. Many bags were simply left behind and carriers were making arrangements to transport them at the ...
Chethan S.'s user avatar
23 votes
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How much does the landing gear compress on a fully loaded airliner on the ground?

The value will obviously vary for different aircraft models (and also with the loading, c.g. location etc), but the usual range can be found in the airport planning document for the particular ...
aeroalias's user avatar
  • 100k
23 votes

What kind of problems can a flight have if passenger weight is miscalculated?

For "what kinds of problems can appear", there's the case of Air Midwest Flight 5481, which crashed on takeoff partly due to a miscalculation of passenger weight. In addition to needing ...
Michael Seifert's user avatar
23 votes
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Is the Centre of Gravity moved by an aircraft travelling at “High Speeds”?

Changing the aerodynamic forces on any part of the aircraft CANNOT change the distribution of mass within the aircraft structure. The center of mass, (AKA center of gravity) can ONLY be changed by ...
Charles Bretana's user avatar
22 votes

Is it okay to take off with weight more than the POH max gross weight?

Can you take off over gross weight? Yes, it's possible on any airplane, dependent on how far over the weight limit you are, the density altitude, how much runway you have, what obstacles are in the ...
GdD's user avatar
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21 votes

What would happen if a plane lost half of its weight instantly?

In steady flight, the lift $L$ generated by the wings equals the loaded weight so that there is no vertical acceleration. Thus, the lift just before the bomb is dropped is $$ L = m_1g = 245\,250 \;\...
Christo's user avatar
  • 543
20 votes

What would happen if a plane lost half of its weight instantly?

The A7E Corsair had an empty weight of around 19,000 pounds. Its fuel load was 10,500 pounds, and with six armed 2,000 pound MK84 general purpose bombs hung under the wing it had a total weight of ...
Aaron's user avatar
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20 votes

Why do pilots have to calculate their center of gravity? Couldn't this simply be measured?

It's not only possible, it's been done on military transports and some cargo aircraft. However, one still needs to know the aircraft's mass (not weight) prior to takeoff. Gear-mounted strain sensors ...
Therac's user avatar
  • 27.9k
17 votes

What does %MAC mean?

%MAC (Percent Mean Aerodynamic Chord) is a mathematical calculation that shows where the center of gravity is over the wing. The calculations is rather straight forward and the generic formula is the ...
wbeard52's user avatar
  • 12.8k
17 votes

Why would a plane perform 360° turns to balance fuel on the ground?

They probably had a fuel imbalance that was marginally outside the limit for takeoff, and perhaps the powered fuel transfer system was unserviceable and was deferred. Typically there is a gravity ...
John K's user avatar
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17 votes
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Why is there a maximum landing weight limit?

Maximum landing weight (MLW) limit exists primarily to cater for approach climb performance requirements (i.e. go-around requirement). As per 14CFR 25.1001: if the aircraft does not have a fuel ...
JZYL's user avatar
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17 votes

Is the Centre of Gravity moved by an aircraft travelling at “High Speeds”?

The author of the book makes a correct introduction: "..movement of the centre of gravity is due to a change in weight. The distribution of the aircraft’s weight can change for three reasons"...
Koyovis's user avatar
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16 votes

Can an airline reject a passenger for being overweight?

Airlines have rejected passengers for their size, perhaps more than their weight, specifically for being unable to fit into a passenger seat. There appears to be some debate as to whether this ...
mongo's user avatar
  • 17.8k
15 votes
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How can the Antonov AN 225 only have 2 nose wheels?

The reason An 225 has only two nose landing gears (for a total of four wheels) is that it was developed from An 124 Ruslan, which had pretty much the same arrangement. This works during normal ...
aeroalias's user avatar
  • 100k
15 votes

What is the weight that is used to balance an aircraft called?

747s in everyday operation typically use fuel for ballast when needed. Ballast fuel is considered to be part of the zero fuel weight and you are not allowed to burn it, although obviously if you were ...
Terry's user avatar
  • 39.2k
15 votes

Can an airline reject a passenger for being overweight?

When the aircraft is going to be overweight, then yes, the airline can only take what weight the performance numbers will support. That's somewhat uncommon, but it can defintely happen when takeoff ...
Ralph J's user avatar
  • 51.9k
15 votes

How do handling characteristics depend on flying with a full vs. an empty tank?

All aircraft are subject to performance changes due to fuel burn, and since weight, lift, thrust and drag are all tied together for every aircraft in the same way the changes scale nicely. Let's look ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 101k
14 votes

Why is this plane struggling to gain altitude?

Looks overloaded for the temperature/altitude conditions. With all the yapping and chattering, it sounds like the cabin was full. Once out ground effect, its rate of climb appears to have been around ...
John K's user avatar
  • 132k
14 votes

Why do pilots have to calculate their center of gravity? Couldn't this simply be measured?

If I'm right about this being Midwest 5481 the incorrect calculation of Centre of Gravity was not the full cause of the accident. Most, of not all, accidents are caused by a series of events - what is ...
Jamiec's user avatar
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