Balance, Stability, and Center of Gravity - Aircraft Weight and Balance (2023)

Balance refers to the location of the CG of an aircraft, and is important to stability and safety in flight. The CG is a point at which the aircraft would balance if it were suspended at that point.

The primary concern in balancing an aircraft is the fore and aft location of the CG along the longitudinal axis. The CG is not necessarily a fixed point; its location depends on the distribution of weight in the aircraft. As variable load items are shifted or expended, there is a resultant shift in CG location. The distance between the forward and back limits for the position of the center for gravity or CG range is certified for an aircraft by the manufacturer. The pilot should realize that if the CG is displaced too far forward on the longitudinal axis, a nose-heavy condition will result. Conversely, if the CG is displaced too far aft on the longitudinal axis, a tail heavy condition results. It is possible that the pilot could not control the aircraft if the CG location produced an unstable condition. [Figure 1]

Balance, Stability, and Center of Gravity - Aircraft Weight and Balance (1)
Figure 1. Lateral and longitudinal unbalance

Location of the CG with reference to the lateral axis is also important. For each item of weight existing to the left of the fuselage centerline, there is an equal weight existing at a corresponding location on the right. This may be upset by unbalanced lateral loading. The position of the lateral CG is not computed in all aircraft, but the pilot must be aware that adverse effects arise as a result of a laterally unbalanced condition. In an airplane, lateral unbalance occurs if the fuel load is mismanaged by supplying the engine(s) unevenly from tanks on one side of the airplane. The pilot can compensate for the resulting wing-heavy condition by adjusting the trim or by holding a constant control pressure. This action places the aircraft controls in an out-of-streamline condition, increases drag, and results in decreased operating efficiency. Since lateral balance is addressed when needed in the aircraft flight manual (AFM) and longitudinal balance is more critical, further reference to balance in this site means longitudinal location of the CG.

Flying an aircraft that is out of balance can produce increased pilot fatigue with obvious effects on the safety and efficiency of flight. The pilot’s natural correction for longitudinal unbalance is a change of trim to remove the excessive control pressure. Excessive trim, however, has the effect of reducing not only aerodynamic efficiency but also primary control travel distance in the direction the trim is applied.

Effects of Adverse Balance

Adverse balance conditions affect flight characteristics in much the same manner as those mentioned for an excess weight condition. It is vital to comply with weight and balance limits established for all aircraft. Operating above the maximum weight limitation compromises the structural integrity of the aircraft and can adversely affect performance. Stability and control are also affected by improper balance.


Loading in a nose-heavy condition causes problems in controlling and raising the nose, especially during takeoff and landing. Loading in a tail heavy condition has a serious effect upon longitudinal stability, and reduces the capability to recover from stalls and spins. Tail heavy loading also produces very light control forces, another undesirable characteristic. This makes it easy for the pilot to inadvertently overstress an aircraft.

Stability and Center of Gravity

Limits for the location of the CG are established by the manufacturer. These are the fore and aft limits beyond which the CG should not be located for flight. These limits are published for each aircraft in the Type Certificate Data Sheet (TCDS), or aircraft specification and the AFM or pilot’s operating handbook (POH). If the CG is not within the allowable limits after loading, it will be necessary to relocate some items before flight is attempted.

(Video) How Center of Gravity Affects Flight | Tail Down Force | Aircraft Stability

The forward CG limit is often established at a location that is determined by the landing characteristics of an aircraft. During landing, one of the most critical phases of flight, exceeding the forward CG limit may result in excessive loads on the nosewheel, a tendency to nose over on tailwheel type airplanes, decreased performance, higher stalling speeds, and higher control forces.


In extreme cases, a CG location that is beyond the forward limit may result in nose heaviness, making it difficult or impossible to flare for landing. Manufacturers purposely place the forward CG limit as far rearward as possible to aid pilots in avoiding damage when landing. In addition to decreased static and dynamic longitudinal stability, other undesirable effects caused by a CG location aft of the allowable range may include extreme control difficulty, violent stall characteristics, and very light control forces which make it easy to overstress an aircraft inadvertently.

A restricted forward CG limit is also specified to assure that sufficient elevator/control deflection is available at minimum airspeed. When structural limitations do not limit the forward CG position, it is located at the position where full-up elevator/control deflection is required to obtain a high AOA for landing.

The aft CG limit is the most rearward position at which the CG can be located for the most critical maneuver or operation. As the CG moves aft, a less stable condition occurs, which decreases the ability of the aircraft to right itself after maneuvering or turbulence.

For some aircraft, both fore and aft CG limits may be specified to vary as gross weight changes. They may also be changed for certain operations, such as acrobatic flight, retraction of the landing gear, or the installation of special loads and devices that change the flight characteristics.

The actual location of the CG can be altered by many variable factors and is usually controlled by the pilot. Placement of baggage and cargo items determines the CG location. The assignment of seats to passengers can also be used as a means of obtaining a favorable balance. If an aircraft is tail heavy, it is only logical to place heavy passengers in forward seats. Fuel burn can also affect the CG based on the location of the fuel tanks. For example, most small aircraft carry fuel in the wings very near the CG and burning off fuel has little effect on the loaded CG.

Management of Weight and Balance Control

Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 23, section 23.23 requires establishment of the ranges of weights and CGs within which an aircraft may be operated safely. The manufacturer provides this information, which is included in the approved AFM, TCDS, or aircraft specifications.

While there are no specified requirements for a pilot operating under 14 CFR part 91 to conduct weight and balance calculations prior to each flight, 14 CFR part 91, section 91.9 requires the pilot in command (PIC) to comply with the operating limits in the approved AFM. These limits include the weight and balance of the aircraft. To enable pilots to make weight and balance computations, charts and graphs are provided in the approved AFM.

(Video) PPGS Lesson 10.3 | Weight & Balance: Center of Gravity Effect on Performance

Weight and balance control should be a matter of concern to all pilots. The pilot controls loading and fuel management (the two variable factors that can change both total weight and CG location) of a particular aircraft. The aircraft owner or operator should make certain that up-to-date information is available for pilot use, and should ensure that appropriate entries are made in the records when repairs or modifications have been accomplished. The removal or addition of equipment results in changes to the CG.

Weight changes must be accounted for and the proper notations made in weight and balance records. The equipment list must be updated, if appropriate. Without such information, the pilot has no foundation upon which to base the necessary calculations and decisions.

Standard parts with negligible weight or the addition of minor items of equipment such as nuts, bolts, washers, rivets, and similar standard parts of negligible weight on fixed-wing aircraft do not require a weight and balance check. The following criteria for negligible weight change is outlined in Advisory Circular (AC) 43.13-1 (as revised), Methods Techniques and Practices—Aircraft Inspection and Repair:

  • One pound or less for an aircraft whose weight empty is less than 5,000 pounds
  • Two pounds or less for aircraft with an empty weight of more than 5,000 pounds to 50,000 pounds
  • Five pounds or less for aircraft with an empty weight of more than 50,000 pounds

Negligible CG change is any change of less than 0.05 percent Mean Aerodynamic Chord (MAC) for fixed-wing aircraft or 0.2 percent for rotary wing aircraft. MAC is the average distance from the leading edge to the trailing edge of the wing. Exceeding these limits would require a weight and balance check.

Before any flight, the pilot should determine the weight and balance condition of the aircraft. Simple and orderly procedures based on sound principles have been devised by the manufacturer for the determination of loading conditions. The pilot uses these procedures and exercises good judgment when determining weight and balance. In many modern aircraft, it is not possible to fill all seats, baggage compartments, and fuel tanks, and still remain within the approved weight and balance limits. If the maximum passenger load is carried, the pilot must often reduce the fuel load or reduce the amount of baggage.

14 CFR part 125 requires aircraft with 20 or more seats or maximum payload capacity of 6,000 pounds or more to be weighed every 36 calendar months. Multi-engine aircraft operated under 14 CFR part 135 are also required to be weighed every 36 months. Aircraft operated under 14 CFR part 135 are exempt from the 36 month requirement if operated under a weight and balance system approved in the operations specifications of the certificate holder. For additional information on approved weight and balance control programs for operations under parts 121 and 135, reference the current edition of AC 120-27, Aircraft Weight and Balance Control. AC 43.13-l, Acceptable Methods, Techniques and Practices—Aircraft Inspection and Repair also requires that the aircraft mechanic ensure that the weight and balance data in the aircraft records is current and accurate after a 100-hour or annual inspection.

Terms and Definitions

The pilot should be familiar with the appropriate terms regarding weight and balance. The following list of terms and their definitions is standardized, and knowledge of these terms aids the pilot to better understand weight and balance calculations of any aircraft. Terms defined by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) as industry standard are marked in the titles with GAMA.

(Video) How an Airplane's Weight and Balance Affects its Performance

Arm (moment arm)—the horizontal distance in inches from the reference datum line to the CG of an item. The algebraic sign is plus (+) if measured aft of the datum and minus (–) if measured forward of the datum.

  • Basic empty weight (GAMA)—the standard empty weight plus the weight of optional and special equipment that have been installed.
  • Center of gravity (CG)—the point about which an aircraft would balance if it were possible to suspend it at that point. It is the mass center of the aircraft or the theoretical point at which the entire weight of the aircraft is assumed to be concentrated. It may be expressed in inches from the reference datum or in percent of MAC. The CG is a three-dimensional point with longitudinal, lateral, and vertical positioning in the aircraft.
  • CG limits—the specified forward and aft points within which the CG must be located during flight. These limits are indicated on pertinent aircraft specifications.
  • CG range—the distance between the forward and aft CG limits indicated on pertinent aircraft specifications.
  • Datum (reference datum)—an imaginary vertical plane or line from which all measurements of arm are taken. The datum is established by the manufacturer. Once the datum has been selected, all moment arms and the location of CG range are measured from this point.
  • Delta—a Greek letter expressed by the symbolΔto indicate a change of values. As an example,ΔCG indicates a change (or movement) of theCG.
  • Floor load limit—the maximum weight the floor can sustain per square inch/foot as provided by the manufacturer.
  • Fuel load—the expendable part of the load of the aircraft. It includes only usable fuel, not fuel required to fill the lines or that which remains trapped in the tank sumps.
  • Licensed empty weight—the empty weight that consists of the airframe, engine(s), unusable fuel, and undrainable oil plus standard and optional equipment as specified in the equipment list. Some manufacturers used this term prior to GAMA standardization.
  • Maximum landing weight—the greatest weight that an aircraft is normally allowed to have at landing.
  • Maximum ramp weight—the total weight of a loaded aircraft including all fuel. It is greater than the takeoff weight due to the fuel that will be burned during the taxi and run-up operations. Ramp weight may also be referred to as taxi weight.
  • Maximum takeoff weight—the maximum allowable weight for takeoff.
  • Maximum weight—the maximum authorized weight of the aircraft and all of its equipment as specified in the TCDS for the aircraft.
  • Maximum zero fuel weight (GAMA)—the maximum weight, exclusive of usable fuel.
  • Mean aerodynamic chord (MAC)—the average distance from the leading edge to the trailing edge of the wing.
  • Moment—the product of the weight of an item multiplied by its arm. Moments are expressed in pound-inches (in-lb). Total moment is the weight of the airplane multiplied by the distance between the datum and the CG.
  • Moment index (or index)—a moment divided by a constant such as 100, 1,000, or 10,000. The purpose of using a moment index is to simplify weight and balance computations of aircraft where heavy items and long arms result in large, unmanageable numbers.
  • Payload (GAMA)—the weight of occupants, cargo, and baggage.
  • Standard empty weight (GAMA)—aircraft weight that consists of the airframe, engines, and all items of operating equipment that have fixed locations and are permanently installed in the aircraft, including fixed ballast, hydraulic fluid, unusable fuel, and full engine oil.
  • Standard weights—established weights for numerous items involved in weight and balance computations. These weights should not be used if actual weights are available. Some of the standard weights are:

Gasoline.................................................. 6 lb/US gal

Jet A, Jet A-1........................................ 6.8 lb/US gal

Jet B.......................................................6.5 lb/US gal

Oil..........................................................7.5 lb/US gal

Water..................................................8.35 lb/US gal

  • Station—a location in the aircraft that is identified by a number designating its distance in inches from the datum. The datum is, therefore, identified as station zero. An item located at station +50 would have an arm of 50 inches.
  • Useful load—the weight of the pilot, copilot, passengers, baggage, usable fuel, and drainable oil. It is the basic empty weight subtracted from the maximum allowable gross weight. This term applies to general aviation (GA) aircraft only.
(Video) The Complete Guide to Weight and Balance (PPL Lesson 50)

Principles of Weight and Balance Computations

It is imperative that all pilots understand the basic principles of weight and balance determination. The following methods of computation can be applied to any object or vehicle for which weight and balance information is essential.

By determining the weight of the empty aircraft and adding the weight of everything loaded on the aircraft, a total weight can be determined—a simple concept. A greater problem, particularly if the basic principles of weight and balance are not understood, is distributing this weight in such a manner that the entire mass of the loaded aircraft is balanced around a point (CG) that must be located within specified limits.

The point at which an aircraft balances can be determined by locating the CG, which is, as stated in the definitions of terms, the imaginary point at which all the weight is concentrated. To provide the necessary balance between longitudinal stability and elevator control, the CG is usually located slightly forward of the center of lift. This loading condition causes a nose-down tendency in flight, which is desirable during flight at a high AOA and slow speeds.

As mentioned earlier, a safe zone within which the balance point (CG) must fall is called the CG range. The extremities of the range are called the forward CG limits and aft CG limits. These limits are usually specified in inches, along the longitudinal axis of the airplane, measured from a reference point called a datum reference. The datum is an arbitrary point, established by aircraft designers that may vary in location between different aircraft. [Figure 2]

Balance, Stability, and Center of Gravity - Aircraft Weight and Balance (2)
Figure 2. Weight and balance

The distance from the datum to any component part or any object loaded on the aircraft is called the arm. When the object or component is located aft of the datum, it is measured in positive inches; if located forward of the datum, it is measured as negative inches or minus inches. The location of the object or part is often referred to as the station. If the weight of any object or component is multiplied by the distance from the datum (arm), the product is the moment. The moment is the measurement of the gravitational force that causes a tendency of the weight to rotate about a point or axis and is expressed in inch-pounds (in-lb).

To illustrate, assume a weight of 50 pounds is placed on the board at a station or point 100 inches from the datum. The downward force of the weight can be determined by multiplying 50 pounds by 100 inches, which produces a moment of 5,000 in-lb. [Figure 3]

Balance, Stability, and Center of Gravity - Aircraft Weight and Balance (3)
Figure 3. Determining moment

To establish a balance, a total of 5,000 in-lb must be applied to the other end of the board. Any combination of weight and distance which, when multiplied, produces a 5,000 in-lb moment will balance the board. For example (illustrated in Figure 4), if a 100-pound weight is placed at a point (station) 25 inches from the datum, and another 50-pound weight is placed at a point (station) 50 inches from the datum, the sum of the product of the two weights and their distances total a moment of 5,000 in-lb, which will balance the board.

Balance, Stability, and Center of Gravity - Aircraft Weight and Balance (4)
Figure 4. Establishing a balance

Weight and Balance Restrictions

An aircraft’s weight and balance restrictions should be closely followed. The loading conditions and empty weight of a particular aircraft may differ from that found in the AFM/POH because modifications or equipment changes may have been made. Sample loading problems in the AFM/POH are intended for guidance only; therefore, each aircraft must be treated separately. Although an aircraft is certified for a specified maximum gross takeoff weight, it may not safely take off at this weight under all conditions. Conditions that affect takeoff and climb performance, such as high elevations, high temperatures, and high humidity (high density altitudes), may require a reduction in weight before flight is attempted. Other factors to consider when computing weight and balance distribution prior to takeoff are runway length, runway surface, runway slope, surface wind, and the presence of obstacles. These factors may require a reduction in or redistribution of weight prior to flight.

(Video) How CG Affects Aircraft Performance: Boldmethod Live

Some aircraft are designed so that it is difficult to load them in a manner that places the CG out of limits. These are usually small aircraft with the seats, fuel, and baggage areas located near the CG limit. Pilots must be aware that while within CG limits these aircraft can be overloaded in weight. Other aircraft can be loaded in such a manner that they will be out of CG limits even though the useful load has not been exceeded. Because of the effects of an out-of-balance or overweight condition, a pilot should always be sure that an aircraft is properly loaded.


  • Weight and Balance
  • Weight Control
  • Determining Loaded Weight and CG
  • Weight and Balance Theory
  • Multiengine Aircraft Weight and Balance Computations
  • Weight Changes Caused by a Repair or Alteration
  • Determining the Loaded CG of a Helicopter
  • Effects of Offloading Passengers an Using Fuel


Which weight and balance information must be in the aircraft? ›

“You need to have the current weight and balance data on board the aircraft. This includes basic empty weight and moment, as well as the approved envelope for the aircraft. FAR 91.9 prohibits operation of the aircraft without complying with the operating limitations.

How does center of gravity affects the weight and balance of the aircraft? ›

In an aeroplane, the centre of gravity (CG) is the point at which the aircraft would balance were it possible to suspend it at that point. As the location of the centre of gravity affects the stability of the aircraft, it must fall within specified limits that are established by the aircraft manufacturer.

How do you calculate balance weight? ›

To calculate the counterbalance weight, multiply the mass of the object by the distance from the fulcrum to the object, then divide by the distance from the fulcrum to the counterbalance.

How do you calculate center of balance? ›

1. Use the following formula to compute the CB location of vehicles. Multiply weight by distance of each axle from the reference line (in inches), and then divide the total results by the vehicle gross weight.

What is the formula for aircraft weight? ›

W = SUM(i=1 to i=n) [wi]

This equation says that the weight of the airplane is equal to the sum of the weight of “n” discrete parts.

What are three items included in the weight and balance report for every aircraft? ›

The weight and balance system commonly employed among aircraft consists of three equally important elements: the weighing of the aircraft, the maintaining of the weight and balance records, and the proper loading of the aircraft.

Where can I find my aircraft weight and balance? ›

Each aircraft's weight and moment are different. This information will be found in the Pilot's Operating Handbook (POH) specific to the aircraft you are flying. It will be in the weight and balance chapter which is standard chapter six.

What is the minimum weight of a balance? ›

The “minimum weight” refers to the minimum quantity of a sample required when the measurement uncertainty (potential error) of the balance used is taken into account.

What is the problem with aircraft weight and balance? ›

Trying to cheat the weight and balance of an aircraft for by attempting to carry more cargo than the aircraft was designed can result in: Inefficient fuel burn. Overloaded engines. Takeoff rolls which are longer than usual.

Are you required to do a weight and balance for every flight? ›

The regulations do not explicitly require you to calculate your weight and balance before every flight, however it is implied. The regulations stipulate that you calculate your takeoff and landing distances and operate the airplane according to the AFM.

How does center of gravity affect balance and stability? ›

The centre of gravity of an object could also be called its balance point. If you support the centre of gravity, the object will balance and be stable. If an object is not supported directly below its centre of gravity then the object will be unstable and topple over.

What factors will affect the center of gravity of an aircraft? ›

Several factors can affect the center of gravity of an aircraft, including fuel load, passenger and cargo weight, and aircraft modifications. As fuel is consumed during flight, the CG will move further aft, potentially affecting the aircraft's stability.

What are the two principle reasons weight and balance limits are placed on airplanes? ›

Aircraft are certificated for weight and balance for two principal reasons: The effect of the weight on the aircraft's primary structure and its performance characteristics. The effect of the location of this weight on flight characteristics, particularly in stall and spin recovery and stability.

What are the three types of weight balance? ›

Types of weighing balance used in science classrooms
  • Compact balance.
  • Triple beam balance.
  • Spring Balance.
  • Precision balances and analytical balance.
Aug 6, 2021

What is the difference between weight and balance? ›

While scales and balances are both used as weighing devices, their intended purposes slightly vary. A scale is used to measure weight (weight = the force of gravity on an object on the scale) whereas a balance is used to measure mass. (mass = the amount of matter in an object).

Does a balance weigh mass or weight? ›

Weighing balances measure mass, which is the amount of matter in something. A weighing balance measures mass directly by comparing the unknown mass to a known mass, which is not affected by changes in gravity. Therefore, a balance should give the same reading regardless of its location.

What is balance calculation method? ›

What is the Average Daily Balance Method? The average daily balance is a common accounting method that calculates interest charges by considering the balance invested or owed at the end of each day of the billing period, rather than the balance invested or owed at the end of the week, month, or year.

What is the balance calculation method? ›

In short, the average daily balance method calculates interest charges, such as for a credit card, by multiplying the credit card balance for each day during a billing period by the card's finance charge, which is stated as the card's annual percentage rate (APR).

What is the formula for the center of gravity? ›

To find the CG of a two dimensional object, use the formula Xcg = ∑xW/∑W to find the CG along the x-axis and Ycg = ∑yW/∑W to find the CG along the y-axis. The point at which they intersect is the center of gravity.

What is aircraft strength to weight ratio? ›

For aircraft, the quoted thrust-to-weight ratio is often the maximum static thrust at sea level divided by the maximum takeoff weight. Aircraft with thrust-to-weight ratio greater than 1:1 can pitch straight up and maintain airspeed until performance decreases at higher altitude.

How do you calculate weight shift on an aircraft? ›

Explanation. Always cross multiply the weight and the distance moved and then divide by the total weight and you will end up with X. In this case moving the 100 lbs bag forward 50 stations would not put us within acceptable limits. Our new C of G would be at 93.96 which is still .

What is the maximum operating weight? ›

The maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) or maximum gross takeoff weight (MGTOW) or maximum takeoff mass (MTOM) of an aircraft is the maximum weight at which the pilot is allowed to attempt to take off, due to structural or other limits.

What is FAA basic operating weight? ›

Basic Operating Weight (BOW) Total weight of the aircraft, including crew, ready for flight, but without payload or fuel (sometimes excludes the crew). Includes all fixed ballast, unusable fuel, normal operating level of oil and total quantity of hydraulic fluid (transport aircraft only).

What is the maximum ramp weight? ›

The maximum ramp weight (MRW) (also known as the maximum taxi weight (MTW)) is the maximum weight authorised for manoeuvring (taxiing or towing) an aircraft on the ground as limited by aircraft strength and airworthiness requirements.

What is zero fuel weight in aircraft? ›

The zero-fuel weight (ZFW) of an aircraft is the total weight of the airplane and all its contents, minus the total weight of the usable fuel on board. Unusable fuel is included in ZFW.

What is normal weight balance? ›

If your BMI is less than 18.5, it falls within the underweight range. If your BMI is 18.5 to 24.9, it falls within the Healthy Weight range. If your BMI is 25.0 to 29.9, it falls within the overweight range. If your BMI is 30.0 or higher, it falls within the obese range.

What is the maximum weight of a Class A balance? ›

The N.B.S. Handbook 44, 4th ed., states: “In the absence of information to the contrary, the nominal capacity of a Class A balance shall be assumed to be 15.5 g (½ apothecaries' ounce).” Most of the commercially available Class A balances have a capacity of 120 g and bear a statement to that effect.

How do you find the minimum and maximum weight of a balance? ›

Some manufacturers direct in their operating manual to weigh minimum 1.0 mg on balance having 0.01 mg least count i.e. least count X 100. But the thumb rule followed in pharmaceutical industries for lower limit is least count X 50 and the upper limit is 80% of the capacity of the balance.

What is the relationship of weight and stability aircraft? ›

The importance of the relationship between weight and the center of gravity on an airplane cannot be understated. Weight affects the balance point of the aircraft. This is one of the most important points of an airplane because it directly impacts the stability and performance of the aircraft.

What keeps a plane balanced? ›

When an airplane is flying straight and level at a constant speed, the lift it produces balances its weight, and the thrust it produces balances its drag. However, this balance of forces changes as the airplane rises and descends, as it speeds up and slows down, and as it turns.

What is the primary purpose of aircraft weight and balance? ›

Stability and Balance Control

This is of primary importance to aircraft stability, which determines safety in flight. The CG is the point at which the total weight of the aircraft is assumed to be concentrated, and the CG must be located within specific limits for safe flight.

When should weight and balance be updated? ›

Anytime weight or center of gravity is changed, the mechanic must update the aircraft weight and balance. This information must be available to the pilot prior to flight, and is often included in the POH as an additional sheet or otherwise copied into the flight manual.

What is the weight and balance theory? ›

Weight and balance problems are based on the physical law of the lever. This law states that a lever is balanced when the weight on one side of the fulcrum (a pivot point for the lever) multiplied by its arm is equal to the weight on the opposite side multiplied by its arm.

What happens if a plane is overweight? ›

In these cases, the airplane may arrive at the landing airport at a weight considerably above the maximum design landing weight. The pilot must then decide whether to reduce the weight prior to landing or land overweight. The weight can be reduced either by holding to burn off fuel or by jettisoning fuel.

Which is more stable high or low center of gravity? ›

Lower the centre of gravity more the stability of the object. When the centre of gravity is closer to the base, it is more difficult to topple a body as most of the weight will be concentrated near the base.

What factors affect balance and stability? ›

  • low centre of mass. the lower the centre of mass, the higher the stability.
  • increase size of base of support. the larger the base of support, the higher the stability.
  • line of gravity is central to base of support. ...
  • increased body mass or inertia.

What is the relationship between center of gravity and stability? ›

The position of the centre of gravity of an object affects its stability. The lower the centre of gravity (G) is, the more stable the object. The higher it is the more likely the object is to topple over if it is pushed.

What causes a higher center of gravity? ›

Someone who does a lot of upper body weight training and less lower body will have a higher center of gravity. Changes in the location of your center of gravity can affect your balance and stability. Proper strength training can help your balance when the location of your center of gravity shifts.

What are the two factors that affect the centre of gravity? ›

Centre of gravity of given mass depend on its shape and on the distribution of mass.

What can happen when the center of gravity of an airplane is forward of its acceptable CG range? ›

During landing, one of the most critical phases of flight, exceeding the forward CG limit may result in excessive loads on the nosewheel, a tendency to nose over on tailwheel type airplanes, decreased performance, higher stalling speeds, and higher control forces.

What are the two types of balancing aircraft? ›

There are two basic types of balancing that can be carried out on your machinery – Static and Dynamic: Static balancing (knife edging)

What is meant by stability of an airplane and what way it is different from balance? ›

Airplane stability is used to describe how the airplane will act when subjected to an outside disturbance, either natural or due to control inputs. There are two basic types of stability in aircraft; static and dynamic. These are further subdivided into positive, neutral, or negative stability.

What causes a plane to be weight restricted? ›

Various factors (including air temperature, elevation, runway length and slope, and obstacles near the runway) can limit how much weight an airplane can safely carry.

What is the method for finding center of gravity? ›

The location of center of gravity is derived from the moment measurement by applying the following formula: M = W x d: Where M is the moment applied, W is the weight of the object, d is the distance from the pivot point to the center of gravity of the object.

What is center of gravity when balancing? ›

The centre of gravity of an object could also be called its balance point. If you support the centre of gravity, the object will balance and be stable. If an object is not supported directly below its centre of gravity then the object will be unstable and topple over.

Where can you find your center of gravity? ›

Normally the center of gravity of a human is about an inch below the navel in the center of the body. How is this location affected by changes in body position such as bending over?

How do you find the balance point of an object? ›

The total weight is 120 pounds and the total moment 6000 inches-pounds, the balance point is found by dividing the total moment by the total weight. This value is 50 inches located to the right of point A or since 80 - 50 = 30, it is also 30 inches to the left of B.

What is an example of the center of gravity? ›

In some cases, such as hollow bodies or irregularly shaped objects, the centre of gravity (or centre of mass) may occur in space at a point external to the physical material—e.g., in the centre of a tennis ball or between the legs of a chair.

What is the formula for the center of mass? ›

Center of Mass of a Two-Particle System

(m1+m2) rcm =m1 r1+m2 r2. The product of the total mass of the system and the position vector of the center of mass is equal to the sum of the products of the masses of the two particles and their respective position vectors.

How will you increase the stability of an object? ›

You can increase the stability of an object by lowering its center of gravity or increasing the width of its base. There are three main states of stability.

Should center of gravity be high or low? ›

The lower your center of gravity, the easier it is to keep your balance. If you're sitting on a chair, you can lean over more than if you're standing up. With your center of gravity low, you can lean further to one side or the other without creating enough turning force to tip you over.

Why is higher center of gravity less stable? ›

Lowering the center of gravity will increase the stability of the body because it allows greater angular displacement of the center of gravity within the bounds of the base of support (Figure 14.8).

Is center of gravity the same as balance? ›

In science, we say that an object is balanced if it is not moving. When an object is balanced, it is in a state of equilibrium. Any forces on the object are balanced by forces in the opposite direction. The centre of gravity is the average position of the force of gravity on an object.

What does a low center of gravity mean? ›

The lower an object's center of gravity is to the ground, the more stable that object is. This is why wheel loaders, skid steers and other bucket machines drive with their loads close to the ground. The weight distribution remains balanced and stable with a low center of gravity because the force is pulling right down.

How do you keep the center of gravity low? ›

In the language of body mechanics, the centre of gravity is the centre of the weight of an object or person. A lower centre of gravity increases stability. This can be achieved by bending the knees and bringing the centre of gravity closer to the base of support, keeping the back straight.

Why is the center of gravity important? ›

It is important to know the centre of gravity because it predicts the behaviour of a moving body when acted on by gravity. It is also useful in designing static structures such as buildings and bridges. In a uniform gravitational field, the centre of gravity is identical to the centre of mass.


1. Weight And Balance Part 4: Effects of Forward and Aft CG
2. Airplane Weight and Balance: Forward CG vs Aft CG Characteristics
3. Significance of Center of Gravity & Center of Pressure | Effect of CG and CP on Stability
4. Mass & Balance: The relationship between CG and CP
5. Basic Aircraft Weight and Balance Concepts
(Chapman Flying)
6. Aircraft Weight and Balance In Plain English
(MzeroA Flight Training)


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