Weight and Balance Theory (W&B)


To ensure safe and legal operation, aircraft manufacturers have established limits to how much an aircraft may weigh when loaded. In addition, they have established forward and aft limits of how the aircraft may be loaded. Prior to each flight, pilots must verify that their aircraft is loaded within these limits in order to ensure a safe operation.


The following are terms indispensible when discussing W&B:

Term Definition
Arm The horizontal distance between an object an the datum
Center of Gravity (CG) The point at which all of the weight of the aircraft is considered to be concentrated
Datum The arbitrary point from which all measurements of arm are taken
Moment The force (torque) that tries to cause rotation and is the product of the arm and weight

Rules of Thumb

Moment = Weight x Arm


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