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Thread: Tail weights for weight & balance

  1. #1
    Blue's Guys
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    Tail weights for weight & balance

    Hi folks,
    Jurrien Hoekstra here of Blue's Guys. We own a 1971 C23 Musketeer, ser.#1361 (supposedly the last Musketeer off the line before a second door was added and the name changed to Sundowner). We are having some issues with the weight & balance. Seems with 2 persons (400 lbs.) in the front seats we need approx. 120 lbs. as ballast in the baggage compartment to get in the C of G envelope. We are looking at installing a Rapid Tail Weight and are looking to get some feedback from anyone who has done that or can provide advice or experience in this situation. Is there something unique with the C of G with this model of Beechcraft?

    Thanks in advance for your input.
    Last edited by Clinderman; 03-03-2013 at 10:52 AM. Reason: c.t.

  2. #2
    I think the part is over $500. It adds 10# to station 288. You can do a quick W/B and see how this helps vs the trade off of adding (2) 50# tubes of sand...and the tubes are easily removed when not needed.

  3. #3
    Talk to unclerap about a tail weight. He got me one for my Musketeer. I would also double check that they used the wheel center for the calculation and not the jack point if the plane was weighed on its tires. Will throw the CG off fwd by 3 or 4 inches.

  4. #4
    Yes, absolutely get the tail weight. That being said, carefully review just how your weight and balance was done. I had the same problem in training and trying to do weight and balance figures. After a lot of posting and a lot of reading (the POH and this website) I finally figured out the problem. The A&P weighed the plane of 3 scales, one under each wheel. Wrong, must be weighed with scales under the mains and weighted at the tail tie down. The A&P weighed it with full fuel tanks (again, wrong). And then to add insult to injury backed-out the weight of the "usable" fuel which in his calculation was 52.2 because he mistakenly thought that the plane had the SB work done, which it had not. The fuel tanks are 60 gallons and 58.8 usable.

    So, look carefully about how your weights and balances was done, because there is a good chance it was done wrong and is unreliable, ours certainly was.

    Jim Olsen
    N2301L
    "The Rat"

    Scars are tatoos with better stories.

  5. #5
    Excellent input, Jim. Thanks for sharing!
    All for one!
    Chris Linderman
    BAC Founding Member
    Sierra N5106M
    KSUN (Hailey, ID)

    States visited by N5106M


  6. #6
    Hey, isn't there a tail weight now that you can help 'owner produce'? It would add your 10 pounds and leave some $$ in the wallet for a future fuel purchase. Search the BAC site to find out who to contact about the weight.

  7. #7
    Jim,

    Will you explain a little more, please. You put the mains on the scales, and weigh at the tail? I guess that is doable with a scale that weighs the "pull" (don't know the technical term) weight at the tail? I would like to understand this procedure a bit further to make sure I have it.

    Thank you,
    Mike

  8. #8
    Ok, the tail weight makes the airplane land better. No doubt. It also makes it possible to load the airplane to a farther forward CG. This is good if you're big. But, the only reason to do it is to keep you legal. Look at the Super III CG envelope. It is farther forward and aft than the Sierra, which has a good CG envelope. But, every Mouse will fly like a Super III when loaded to the Super III limits as long as you are below your GWTO. Beech just never spent the money to change the W&B data on any of the other fixed gears. They were force to change the Sierra (after the certification of the Super III with six seats) due it also had a 6 seat option and the heavier 200 hp engine. The reason the Sierra's GG envelope is less than the Super III is, the gear moves forward during retraction, changing the inflight CG. I have the tail weight and paid plenty for loosing that 10 lbs. But, ballast in the baggage compartment works just as well and is cheaper and easy to remove when you get people in the rear seats. If I remember the arm for the tail weight is something like 288 inches aft of datum. But that's in the forum some place.
    Marty Vanover
    Oro Valley, Az.
    Sierra N65128

    Where "Sandy Beech" has landed.

  9. #9
    Mike: I had problems with this procedure and math too, but once you read what Mike Rellihan wrote, it makes sense. Here's an over-simplified explanation: Lift at the wing jack points. Level the baggage area by tying down the tail with 200+ lbs. The tail weight must be known. Weight the wing points. Weigh the tail weight with the tail attached. Subtract the tail weight and station from the total. So, if you know the tail weight to be 250 lbs and the scale indicates 90 lbs, you would subtract 160 lbs from the wing and station totals. Sounds harder that it is.

    Rap

    f
    Quote Originally Posted by msamac View Post
    Jim,

    Will you explain a little more, please. You put the mains on the scales, and weigh at the tail? I guess that is doable with a scale that weighs the "pull" (don't know the technical term) weight at the tail? I would like to understand this procedure a bit further to make sure I have it.

    Thank you,
    Mike

    Rap McBurney
    N28848

  10. #10

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