2392. A Weight and Balance Aid to Marketing


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V R Graham: 2392. A Weight and Balance Aid to Marketing. 1997.



One of the important responsibilities of a mass properties engineer in the private aircraft industry is to provide the Marketing department support required to sell airplanes. Marketing must be able to assure the customer that an aircraft will fly the desired number of people over a desired range. The problem is that Marketing personnel do not have enough information to give a complete weight and balance analysis for a customized airplane. By the time the Mass Properties group receives a list of options a customer has chosen for an airplane, that customer has usually committed to buying the airplane. The customized airplane may violate some limit that Marketing personnel can not easily check, such as the forward or aft center-of-gravity (cg) limits, maximum zero-fuel weight, maximum landing weight, or any others. If an airplane does violate some limit the sale may be endangered, or at best, the company may be embarrassed if a solution to the problem cannot be found. Presented here is Learjet’s solution to this problem. The Mass Properties group has provided software that allows Marketing to sit with a customer and calculate an accurate preliminary weight and balance, and generate customized loading charts. Marketing can now identify weight and balance problems from the beginning of the purchase process. If any weight and balance problems are encountered, Marketing can make suggestions to the customer regarding optional equipment. Marketing can also call upon Engineering to move equipment, install ballast, or make other necessary changes from the beginning of the process. As a result, Learjet can be proactive in solving weight and balance problems rather than reacting when it may be too late for a good solution.


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