# White Paper

A discussion of fuel cost containment relevant to load planning
car when going around curves. Just as planning the location of people When you pack your car for a family vacation, you carefully plan where the luggage will be loaded and where the passengers will sit. Too much weight in the car can cause it to “bottom out” if you hit bumps in the road, causing damage to the car. Too much weight on top will tip the and bags is a key safety feature to prevent you from damaging the car and hurting its occupants, the same care must be taken when loading an aircraft. However, a different set of gravitational rules — called aerodynamics — applies to an aircraft during flight.

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This payload must be distributed so that the aircraft’s balance — the position of the aircraft’s center of gravity — is maintained within stated limits. the pressure below it increases — resulting in lift. 2 . In response to the force of moving the air down. Figure 1 For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. proper and accurate load planning is crucial to airlines today. but also efficiency. Hence. the air pushes the aircraft upward. Obviously then. There are fixed limits to the payload (the total weight of passengers. lift is created when the pressure or force below the wing is greater (Figure 1). Newton’s third law of motion states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. As the pressure over the wing decreases. Aerodynamics What makes an aircraft go up? An aircraft flies through the air by continually pushing and pulling the surrounding air downward. Gravity (weight) Air pressure below wing is greater than combined aircraft weight and air pressure above wing. Stationary Air pressure Gravity (weight) Air pressure Lift Wind passing over the wing is deflected.” Both refer to the same aspects of aircraft loading issues. The airline is legally bound by these limitations and must not exceed the stipulated restrictions when loading the aircraft. Before discussing these terms. which are determined by the manufacturer. baggage and cargo) an individual aircraft may safely carry. respectfully. reducing air pressure. Two industry terms for the safe loading of an aircraft are “weight and balance” and “load planning. Use of flaps increases or reduces deflection during takeoff or landing. The wind passing on top of the wing is deflected higher causing reduced pressure. in the interest of not only safety. let’s look at the laws of physics that apply to flight and why proper planning is essential. An aircraft wing is shaped so that the top and bottom surface deflect the air. every aircraft has certain structural weight restrictions.Just like a car.

and the fuselage contorts or twists during flight according to the loads it contains.the nose of an aircraft is rounded so it can push through the air more easily. During flight. Inclining the wing to the wind also produces more deflection and more lift. An aircraft is a flexible structure. To keep the fuselage from twisting beyond the maximum allowed Figure 2 Four forces Lift (upward force) Thrust (forward push provided by a propeller or engine) Drag (air resistance or friction caused by air rubbing against the aircraft) Gravity (weight) 3 . The wings of an aircraft have adjustable flaps that can be extended or retracted. an aircraft is in the center of four forces. An aircraft must be built so that lift and thrust are stronger than the pull of gravity and drag by just the right amount. Load planning is required to keep an aircraft within the acceptable limits of the laws of aerodynamics. An aircraft built like a railroad boxcar wouldn’t fly well. When extended. the flaps increase the deflection of the air and provide greater lift for takeoff and landing. Gravity and drag try to pull the aircraft down and slow its speed. As depicted in Figure 2. Balance Balance refers to the location of the center of gravity along the longitudinal axis. Shape is important in overcoming drag. Lift from the wings is used to overcome the force of gravity. The front edge of each wing is rounded also. For example. Aircraft Characteristics The major components of flight include aircraft balance and aircraft weight. lift and thrust elevate the aircraft.