How Much Does A Plane Weigh?

What's the Weight of an Aircraft?

Wide-bodied commercial airplanes typically weigh between 30,900 to 127,000 lbs. Whereas narrow-bodied personal airplanes weigh between 740 and 2 750 lbs. The difference comes from the wingspan. The longer the wingspans, the heavier the airplane.

Aircraft weight isn't just about the number of passengers and cargo that can fit inside the cabin. There are several factors that determine actual aircraft weight including the wingspan, length, height, fuel capacity, engines, and the materials used in its construction.

For example, the Boeing 737 weighs approximately 130,000 lbs., whereas the Airbus A320 weighs only about 70,000 lbs. The difference comes down to the wing span. The longer the wingspan, the heavier the airplane.

There are two types of commercial airplanes: widebody and narrow-bodied. Widebody airplanes have a larger fuselage and wider wings, allowing for more space and room for passengers and cargo. Narrow-bodied airplanes have a shorter fuselage and narrower wings, making them easier to maneuver and less expensive to build.

how much does a plane weigh

What Is The Weight Of Commercial Aircraft?

There are several types of commercial aircraft out there, including jumbo jets, widebody jets, regional jets, turboprops, helicopters, and others. Some of these planes are used by airlines, while others are used by government agencies and private businesses.

Regardless of which type of commercial aircraft you fly, you'll probably find yourself flying on a plane that weighs anywhere between 75,000 and 110,000 pounds. That's roughly equal to 25 to 30 standard passenger cars!

You may not realize it, but pilots actually enjoy flying large commercial aircraft because they feel safer than driving a small vehicle. There's no doubt that the weight of a plane affects its safety, especially during takeoff and landing.

Even though a plane may weigh twice as much as a car, it still feels lighter than a car because it doesn't require as much energy to move forward. So if you're thinking about becoming a commercial pilot, you might want to consider getting certified to fly a larger commercial jet.

What Is The Weight Of A Personal Aircraft?

If you are thinking about getting your private pilot license, then you may be wondering how much a plane weighs. Most personal aircraft are significantly lighter than cars, trucks, and SUVs. These lightweight planes are easier to maintain, transport, and store in a standard airport hangar. Their weights range from 11,000 pounds to 31,000 pounds.

While these lightweight planes are great for pilots like us, they don't compare to the heaviest personal aircraft. The heaviest personal aircraft listed here weighs nearly 40 times as much as the average car.

These heavyweight planes are not suitable for beginners because they require significant training and experience to operate safely. However, if you are already a licensed pilot, then you may find these heavyweight planes very rewarding.

how much does a plane weigh 3

What's The Weight Of A Fighter Jet?

You'll notice that the average fighter jet weighs between 20,300 and 45,000 pounds. However, the heavier the plane, the faster it goes. So if you want to travel quickly, you should probably pick a lighter plane.

What Do The Weight Names For Aircraft Mean?

Aircraft Maximum Gross Takeoff Weight (MGTW)

An airplane's MGTW is the maximum allowable weight for the plane as it takes off. This weight includes the aircraft's empty weight, the fuel load, the crew, the passenger(s), and any cargo. This weight limit is set for safety reasons. An overloaded plane is less stable and may require additional runway length to safely lift off the ground.

Most airplanes have a maximum gross weight of between 50% and 70% of their fully loaded weight. However, there are exceptions. Some planes have an MGTW of 100% of their fully loaded weights. These include military jets, airliners, and large commercial jets.

Aircraft Empty Weight (AEW)

Aircraft empty weight is the weight of the plane without any passengers or cargo aboard. On the other hand, operating empty weight is the weight the plane needs to carry passengers and cargo.

For example, if a Boeing 737 weighs 50 tons empty, but only 20 tons when fully loaded with passengers and cargo, then the operating empty average weight is 30 tons.

Think of this like the aircraft is just coming out of the factory and sits waiting to be fueled up. Once it's done, it'll weigh 50 tons. But until that day comes, it's still sitting at zero tons.

Aircraft Useful Load

There's a whole bunch of stuff that needs to be taken into account when calculating the useful load of an airplane. You'll find that the heavier the plane, the more useful it is to its customers.

But if you wanted to build a really big plane, you'd add tons of fuel and lots of passengers and cargo. And the useful load of the airplane would be pretty high.

Examples Of Typical Aircraft And Their Weight

Aircraft come in various sizes, shapes, and weights. Some planes weigh less than others, but there is no standard definition of what constitutes a typical plane. However, most planes fall within certain ranges of weight. Here are some examples of typical airplanes and their weights.

  • Cessna 172 – used by many as initial training airplane (27 feet long) - 1450 lbs empty weight, 2450 lbs max weight
  • Citation jet M2 – (42 foot long) - 6990 lbs empty weight, 10, 700 lbs max weight
  • Boeing 767-300 – 185 feet long - 195,000 lbs empty weight, 400, 000 lbs max weight
  • B737-800 – 186 feet long - 264, 500 lbs empty weight, 502, 500 lbs max weight
  • B777-300 – 242 feet long - 354,000 lbs empty weight,660,000 lbs max weight
  • B747-400 – 232 feet long - 407,000 lbs empty weight 920,000 lbs max weight
  • Airbus 320 – 123 feet long - 82,000 lbs empty weight 170,000 lbs max weight

What Is The Largest Plane In The World?

The world's largest commercial airliner is the Airbus A380, which has a maximum weight of over one million lbs.

Which Aircraft Is The Heaviest?

The Antonov An‑225 Mriya is one of the largest planes and has the longest wingspan of any airplane. With six engines, it is both the heaviest plane ever made and the largest wingspan for an airplane.

What Does "Minimum Flight Weight" Refer To?

There's actually a difference between the minimum weight of a commercial aircraft and the minimum weight of a private airplane. You'll find that most planes weigh less than the minimum weight listed on the FAA website.

What's The Weight Of A Small Plane?

An airplane or helicopter as defined by 14 CFR Part 1 is 12,500 pounds or less maximum takeoff weight.

Is There A Maximum Passenger Weight On Airplanes?

There isn't a weight limit for passengers on airplanes in the U.S., but some airlines do require passengers who don't easily fit in one seat (like children or small adults) to pay for an extra seat. You should call the airline you plan to fly with to find out if they have any restrictions on actual person weight.

Some airlines may charge you for an extra seat if you don't fit comfortably in one. However, most airlines won't charge you unless you weigh more than 250 pounds. So, if you're under 250 pounds, you shouldn't worry about paying extra for an extra seat.

About this Guide

Written By Alex
Last Updated On November 13, 2022
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6 minutes
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