What is the aircraft weight and balance system?

The aircraft weight and balance system (W&B) is a critical component of the departure control system (DCS). It ensures that the aircraft is loaded correctly to fly safely.

What are the main load control arrangements?

Firstly, designers set max weight that the wings can provide. They also calculate the ideal CG envelope. Next, manufacturers determine the empty weight and location of empty CG for the aircraft. Finally, the pilot should be aware of the max allowable weight and the CG limit to determine suitable load control actions during the flight.

What is Centralized Load Control?

Centralized load control brings all the separate operations in W&B, including Load Plan and Load Sheet, into an integrated system. Centralized load control is a commonly used term in the aviation industry that helps airlines increase their efficiency and reduce costs.

What are the benefits of an automated weight and balance system?

Conventional manual W&B required complex training, but the new automated system provides instantaneous W&B in a quick, reliable, and precise approach, which results in more efficiency and lower cost.

What is a CG envelope?

CG envelope illustrates the CG position of an aircraft. It shows the percentage of a reference chord vs. the aircraft weight. In this diagram, the aircraft fore and aft CG limits, along with weight limits, are expressed.

What are the aircraft load and trim sheets?

Load and trim sheets are complementary sheets that provide accurate information about the operational factors of the W&B system. These sheets are necessary to avoid underestimations that can lead to performance inconsistency.

What is the maximum gross weight of an aircraft?

For a specific type of aircraft, there is a maximum gross weight that the total weight of the airplane must be no greater than it during the flight.

What is the Basic Empty Weight (BEW) of an aircraft?

The basic empty weight is the MEW plus the essential fluids for the aircraft's operation, galley equipment, furnishings (seats, separation walls, and floor coverings), and emergency equipment.

What is the Zero Fuel Weight (ZFW) of an aircraft?

The zero flight weight is OEW plus the weight of the maximum allowable payload, or in other words, the total weight of an airplane minus the total usable fuel weight.

What is the Ramp Weight or Taxi Weight of an aircraft?

The ramp weight (or taxi weight) is the takeoff weight plus the weight of the fuel needed for the auxiliary power unit (APU) usage before takeoff, including engine start and run-up and taxi to the takeoff run.

What are Certified Weights or Purchased Weights for an aircraft?

The max weights that operators use (the weights recorded in the airplane flight manual) are called certified weights or purchased weights. The certified weights are usually less than corresponding design structural limit weights due to operational or financial reasons. It is possible to increase the accredited weights up to structural limit weights at any time (usually at a price).

Why is the weight and balance system important?

The performance and stability of an aircraft are the most substantial factors for having a safe flight. Without a suitable W&B, the aircraft may become out of control, and the result may be catastrophic. Therefore, Understanding and following W&B control requirements is of the highest importance and can significantly diminish general aviation accidents.

What are the benefits of weight and balance system?

A suitable W&B system can significantly diminish general aviation accidents. In addition, if an aircraft becomes overloaded or imbalanced, it will require more power and consequently greater fuel consumption to continue its flight.

What is an automated weight and balance system?

Many airlines and ground handling companies are implementing next-generation and automated systems for their aircraft weight and balance (load control solution). The new system has many advantages over the conventional manual weight and balance processes (legacy systems).

What is an aircraft center of gravity (CG)?

The Center of gravity is a point at which we assume it concentrates the whole weight of the aircraft. This point plays a vital role in the aircraft's stability and should stay within a specified limit.

What factors change the CG position in an aircraft?

Weight and distribution of the payload and fuel determine the CG position. During the flight, the CG position changes. The horizontal movement is more significant and should stay within the determined limit.

What is the weight and balance sheet?

Weight and Balance sheet is a report of customized calculations regarding the determination of CG envelope, zero fuel CG position, and takeoff CG position in an excel format based on airlines and ground service companies' operational programs.

What is the Manufacturer’s Empty Weight (MEW) of an aircraft?

The manufacturer's empty weight is the as-built weight for an aircraft containing structure, installations, systems, power plant, and other integral components.

What is the Operating Empty Weight (OEW) or the Dry Operating Weight (DOW) of an aircraft?

The empty operating weight is the weight of a configured aircraft for a particular operation. OEW excludes usable fuel and payload (cargo, luggage, passengers, stores, meals, and beverages).

What is the Takeoff Weight (TOW) or Brake Release Weight (BRW) of an aircraft?

The takeoff weight is the ZFW plus the weight of the usable fuel at takeoff, and it is often called the brake release weight.

What is the Landing Weight (LW) of an aircraft?

The landing weight is the airplane weight at touchdown at the destination airport. From a flight planning perspective, it is equal to the zero fuel weight plus the weight of the reserve.