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Weight Distribution

The distribution of aircraft weight will influence the airworthiness and

performance via two aircraft parameters:
(i) aircraft centre of gravity (cg) and
(ii) aircraft mass moment of inertia.

The aircraft centre of gravity is the cornerstone for aircraft stability,

controllability, and trim analysis, as well as handling qualities

In addition, the aircraft cg is the centre of the coordinate axis

system that all calculations are based on BODY FRAME OF

The aft cg REDUCES primarily the aircraft longitudinal and directional

stability, while the forward cg will REDUCE mainly the aircraft
longitudinal and directional controllability.

The aft and forward cg will determine several parameters, including

the size of the horizontal and vertical tails as well as elevator and
rudder design
Weight Distribution
The main goals in aircraft design are frequently to
obtain adequate stability in all phases of flight, high
performance, and large payload mass and capacity.
The aircraft weight distribution has primarily two
(i) internal, such as seating arrangement;
(ii) external, such as wing or engine locations.
In practice, it is difficult to achieve all of these
objectives due to the complicated nature of various
Too much load beyond the allowed
aft cg creates an accident
CG location
As a rule of thumb, the best aircraft cg location is
around the wing/fuselage aerodynamic center.

The reason is that the aerodynamic forces (lift and drag)

are produced at the ac.

As the distance between the aircraft cg and the

wing/fuselage aerodynamic center increases, the need for
a balancing moment to trim the aircraft is increased.

The balancing moment (either longitudinal or directional)

has cost and controllability consequences.

A careful design will make sure that the cost is low and
controllability is at an acceptable level.
Aircraft Centre of Gravity Calculation
Aircraft Components
Landing gear
Plus payload, fuel, passengers and crew
Aircraft Centre of Gravity Calculations

There are 4 main coordinate systems

Earth fixed axis system
Body axis system
Wind axis system
Stability axis system

Where coordinate of each component is measured in respect to

particular reference line!
Depend on configuration AND condition
XCG is the most significant one
Fixed or Variable Centre of Gravity
Reasons for CG to move
Fixed or Variable Centre of Gravity
Reasons for CG to move
CG Range Definition
The distance between the most forward and most aft
centre of gravity limits
Should be calculated for every possible weight scenario
CG envelope versus aircraft weight
(available in pilot flight manual)
Ideal Longitudinal CG location
The ideal longitudinal CG location for civil
transport aircraft is where the aircraft does not
require any horizontal tail lift to longitudinally
trim the aircraft
Thus it gives reduction of aircraft trim drag and
reduction of cost
Because CG is shifting, usually objective is to minimize
elevator deflection
Performance index
CG location can be found by minimising the
performance index
Longitudinal CG Location

The weight is within of allowable limits for its
configuration (parked, taxi, take-off, climb, cruise and
centre of gravity is within the allowable range
And will remain so for the duration of flight
The aircraft is said to be within weight and balance
Forward vs aft CG position
Forward vs aft CG position
Wider vs Shorter CG range
Aircraft Mass Moment of Inertia

Parallel axis theorem

Mass moment of inertia of aircraft components
Mass moment of inertia of aircraft components