2331. Ballast – A Necessary Evil Few Want to Talk About


SAWE Members get a $200 store credit each year.*

Become a SAWE Member

*Store credit coupon available at checkout, click the button in your shopping cart to apply the coupon.
Not applicable to SAWE textbooks and current conference technical papers.


Ian O. MacConochie: 2331. Ballast – A Necessary Evil Few Want to Talk About. 1996.



Ballast has been used in practically every type of land, sea, air, or space vehicle. It is ‘enabling’ providing stability and trim through adjustment of the distribution of mass. The NASA shuttle is most frequently ballasted to rectify a forward center-of-gravity condition. The various types and locations of ballast on various types of vehicles are discussed. The propulsive efficiency of most vehicles can be improved by reducing the amount of ballast carried, but practical considerations, such as the stability in roll (for a ship) places limitations on this method for improving efficiency. In accepting reduced, or even negative, stability margins some aircraft achieve weight reduction, but artificial stability, in the form of active controls, must be employed. Ballasting can be avoided in many cases by good weights management early in any project.


SKU: Paper2331 Category: