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Thread: Tail weights for weight & balance

  1. #11
    I don't think it's wrong to weigh on the wheels, they show exactly how to do it right in the manual.

    The downside is you have to measure where the axles are starting from a fuselage reference with a plumb bob and tape measure and so there's opportunity to mess that up.

    Since most of the weight is on the mains the cg will be off by nearly the same amount the measurement is off. i.e. if you mismeasure by 0.5 inch the cg will be off by about 0.5 inch.

    Another downside is it's harder to level the airplane.

    Jack points are nice because you don't have to measure and you can adjust level easily with the jacks.

    You don't need a "pull gauge", you can just tare a weight on a scale. i.e. if you set a 200 lb bucket of concrete on the scale, when you connect it to the tail and now the scale reads 125 lbs you know you have -200+125 = -75 lbs on the tail (i.e. pulling up).


  2. #12

    This is a link to the article published by the guru some time ago:

    This has all of the whys and hows you could need.

    "The Rat"

    Scars are tatoos with better stories.

  3. #13
    You don't have to block the mains to weigh on scales, I don't know why he says that. The axle can be anywhere, that's the reason you measure it.

    The unusable stuff is wrong as well. Unusable fuel, despite the name, really means "not usable in *all* normal operations"

    So, it's defined by the most adverse fuel feed situation within normal operations (climb, descent, slips, etc).

    Obviously, if it's defined by the worst feed condition then you will get a better number at any other condition. Certainly at cruise or on the ground you can use some, or most of the unusable.

    That's why Beech publishes a number that's higher than what you'd get if you ran a tank dry in flight, or pumped it out of the fuel pickup on the ground. It has nothing to do with lawyers or whatever else you hear about.

    In any case using a lower number doesn't actually change your W&B so I'm not sure what the supposed advantage of documenting in the logbook / W&B records a different and not legal unusable is.

    You could get the same effect by just relying on having more than usable fuel for flight planning purposes.

    I've been around and involved in unusable flight tests and overall don't think that's a particulary good idea. But no one will know what your up to unless you run out...


  4. #14
    I added a owner produced tail weight to my Sundowner and had Chad reweigh it. My CG shifted back nicely and now I can put about 450# up front.

  5. #15
    Preparing for Take-off Preparing for Take-off
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    I live on 10 acres 20 miles from LaGrande, Oregon.
    I find that a 70# bag of sand, like the bag sand you put in the bed of a pick up, in the luggage compartment works well on my Custom 111, also on a Sierra, and on a Sundowner. It is removable, doesn't attract rodents and can be adjusted fore and aft in the compartment to adjust w/b ratios. It only costs about $6.

  6. #16
    Russ, I find that water bottles can be adjusted easily, and refilled as well as emptied

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