3659. Weight and CG Curtailment


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Patrick Brown: 3659. Weight and CG Curtailment. 2016.



Without fail, weight and center of gravity (CG) change during every aircraft flight. In some aircraft, especially large passenger aircraft, the ability to safely account for weight and CG movement during flight can become problematic. There are unknown passenger and cargo weights. The crew and passengers often move large distances in the cabin and the cargo CG can shift unexpectedly during flight. Angle of attack and fuel burn often create CG movements due to fuel migration. The complexity of the analysis is large and the risk of failure is enormous. Any one or combination of those events in flight can be catastrophic. However, the risk to crew, passengers, cargo and aircraft can be mitigated by the proper use of weight and CG curtailment. In fact, by applying proper weight and CG curtailment methods during flight planning, those risks can be entirely eliminated as a cause of incident, accident, or catastrophic failure. The only other possible way of eliminating those risks would be to know the weight and CG of every crewman, passenger, cargo, and gallon of fuel and completely limit their movement. Or, better yet, develop a ‘smart’ plane that senses CG movement and automatically compensates for it during flight. As yet, that technology does not exist, is too costly and or complex to implement in a commercial aircraft environment. Weight and CG curtailment uses quantitative methods to shrink the flight envelope so that every likely shift in weight and CG is accounted for in the given flight profile or mission. In fact, as the only viable solution, every large aircraft operator uses weight and CG curtailment in one form or another to dispatch their aircraft in a safe and timely manner.


SKU: Paper3659 Category: