How Much Do Different Types of Airplanes Weigh?

How much does an airplane weigh? Here are some examples of common planes and how much they weigh What is the largest plane in the world?

What is the heaviest airplane? Fuel and passenger weight How do I calculate actual airplane weight What does an average airplane weigh? What is “minimum flight weight?” How much does a small airplane weigh? Do airplanes have a weight limit for passengers? How much does it cost? cost to refuel a 747? How many people can a 747 seat? Is Boeing 777 bigger than 747?

An average airplane weighs about 90,000 pounds (41,000 kilograms) empty weight, which is the weight of the airplane when its fuel tanks are empty and there are no people or luggage on board

This example is for a B-737-800 aircraft (which I have flown all over the world, see my story here) which is considered a medium sized commercial jet aircraft

You can expect to add 84,000 pounds (38,000 kilograms) of fuel, passengers and baggage to that number to get a maximum take-off weight of 174,000lbs (79,000 kilograms)

Of course, these numbers depend dramatically on the type of aircraft you are referring to

I will show you 13 examples of different aircraft weights in this article for your reference

As a general rule, you can expect most airplanes to weigh about 1350 pounds per foot length!

Here are some examples of common airplanes and how much they weigh

The world’s largest passenger plane is the Airbus A380

Its maximum take-off weight is over a million pounds!

It is the longest aircraft, and with six engines is both the heaviest aircraft ever built and the largest wingspan of any aircraft

Fuel and passenger weights

Fuel and passenger weights play a crucial role in determining the maximum weight of the aircraft

Each aircraft has a maximum weight provided by the manufacturer

This number must not be exceeded for any aircraft used privately or commercially

To determine the actual weight of the aircraft, you must add the empty weight of the aircraft + fuel weight + passenger weight + luggage weight

This number cannot exceed the maximum permissible weight limit of the aircraft

Aircraft fuel can be divided into 2 groups (for the purpose of this article)

Avgas is what the smaller non-jet engine aircraft will use

It weighs about 6lbs per US gallon

Jet fuel weighs slightly more at just under 7lbs per US gallon

Passenger weights are determined by the actual weight of people on board

In the example of commercial airplanes, there is no way to know the actual person weight of each person on board, so they use an average weight that is based on gender, age, time of year and also allows for carry-on luggage bring

How to calculate actual aircraft weight

It can be really confusing when looking at the numbers to determine the actual aircraft weight and what it all means

OEW is the weight of the aircraft as it sits empty with no fuel, passengers or baggage

MTOW or Maximum Takeoff Weight

MTOW is the maximum weight of the aircraft to take off safely, considering structural or other limits

As mentioned, the maximum weight that any aircraft can be at the moment of take-off is MTOW

This is calculated by taking OEW + fuel + passengers + baggage – fuel for taxi to the runway = MTOW

Using our initial example of the B737-800 aircraft, the MTOW is 174,000 lbs

To calculate the actual weight of the aircraft on the day of the flight, use our formula above: 90,000lbs + 60,000lbs of fuel + 25,000 passengers + 1200lbs of baggage – 100lbs of fuel = 176,100 MTOW

With so many variables involved, every plane is different and therefore has different weights

Each aircraft will have its own OEW and depending on the payload will have a different MTOW

What does an average airplane weigh?

The average midsize airplane weighs about 90,000lbs

What is “minimum flight weight? “

Minimum flight weight refers to the minimum weight of an aircraft in its ready-to-fly status (that is, it has enough fuel in the fuel tank to make a realistic flight, other fluids such as hydraulic and engine oil, and other miscellaneous items

Minimum flight weight does not include flight crew or any cargo

How much does a small plane weigh?

A small airplane or aircraft as defined by 14 CFR Part 1 is 12,500 lbs or less maximum certified takeoff weight

Do airplanes have a weight limit for passengers?

No, there is no weight limit for passengers in the US on commercial flights, but some airlines require customers who cannot easily fit in a seat to pay for an additional seat

If you have specific questions like these, it’s best to call the airline you’re thinking of flying with to ask them about their passenger size regulations

A 747 can hold 63,000 gallons of jet fuel, which costs about $190,000 – $210,000

The 777 is the next largest aircraft after the 747

Some of the weights that airplanes take off are surprising

In this article I want to look at some of the most recognizable aircraft and break down what they weigh and what constitutes weight

An empty weight, fuel, passengers & cargo of an aircraft must not weigh more than the maximum gross take-off weight of the aircraft

The weight of the aircraft must be calculated by the pilot for each flight to ensure that the aircraft stays within weight limitations set by the manufacturer

These limitations are intended to ensure that the aircraft is able to perform and recover from all flight maneuvers and withstand structural stress

Typical aircraft weights

Below is a table of some of the most common aircraft flying in the sky today:

Aircraft Empty WeightMax Fuel WeightMax Cargo WeightMax Gross Takeoff WeightAntanov AN-225628,000 lbs285,000 kg 661,400 lbs300,000 kg417,000 lbs190,000 kg01,01,01 kg,100,000 kg 8,01,01 kg, 01,01,01 kg 0,000 lbs254,000 kg 185,000 lbs84,000 kg1,268,000 lbs575,000 kgBoeing 747-800485,300 lbs220,100 kg427,400 lbs194,000 kg295,000 lbs 68,030 lbs 68,030 lbs 000 kg119,000 lbs54,000 kg820,000 lbs372,000 kgBoeing 777-300ER370,000 lbs 168,000 kg 320,800 lbs 145,480,000 kg 99,000 lbs 135,500 kg223,500 lbs101,500 kg 320,000 lbs 000 lbs254,000 kgBoeing 737-90098500 lbs 3000 kg100000 lbs 45200 kg Bombardier CRJ90048,160 lbs 21850 kg19600 lbs 8900 kg 6000 kg 00 kg11700 lbs5300 kg18700 lbs8500 kg62000 lbs28000 kgLearjet 75139000 lbs 6300 lbs kg2,900 lbs1,300 kg21,500 lbs 4,700 kg kg ,200 lbs 1,000 kg17,200 lbs7,800 kgBeechcraft King Air B1007,100 lbs 3,200 kg3,200 lbs1,450 kg4,150 lbs1,900 kg12,000 lbs 5,300 lbs 5,300 lbs lbs 3, 600 lbs1 630 kgCessna 172R1,700 lbs770 kg380 lbs170 kg560 lbs255 kg2,425 lbs1,100 kgAll links in this table on Wikipediacom

What do plane weight names mean?

You may have looked at the table above and thought the numbers don’t work because if you took the airplane’s empty weight and added the maximum fuel weight and maximum cargo it could carry, it could be well over the maximum gross weight of the plane

This is where a compromise of fuel vs cargo/passengers is required and is referred to as Payload

Aircraft Empty Weight (AEW)

This is sometimes referred to as OEW – Operating Empty Weight and it is the weight of the aircraft with all its equipment on board but no fuel, no passengers or no cargo

Think of it as if the plane just came out of the factory and is sitting there waiting to be delivered to the customer

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Aircraft Maximum Gross Takeoff Weight (MGTW)

This is the maximum allowable weight that the aircraft can weigh as it takes off from the ground

This includes the empty weight of the aircraft, fuel, crew, passengers and all cargo

This weight limit is set by the manufacturer and is gospel

Aircraft Payload

This is the weight that a pilot can put on the plane

Take the MGTW figure and subtract the AEW and this is the total useful load that can be put into the aircraft

This is fuel, crew, passengers and cargo

The bigger the load, the more useful the plane can be to its customers!

How fuel, passengers & cargo affect aircraft weight

Each item of weight added to the aircraft must be considered and some items may be left off the flight and others not so much

There are several scenarios we can look at, and for these examples I’ll use the Astar helicopter that I fly because it’s really easy for me to work out the numbers:

Airplane Empty Weight: 3000 lbs Airplane Maximum Gross Weight: 4961 lbs Airplane Maximum Fuel Weight: 1000 lbs Airplane Payload: 1961 lbs

Scenario #1: All Fuel & No Cargo or Passengers

This would be on a flight when I finish a job and I go back to the hangar after dropping off the passengers and their cargo:

Scenario #2: Full passengers & 200 lbs of cargo

Airplane Empty Weight: 3000 lbs

Airplane Empty Weight: 3000 lbs

Pilot weight: 185 lbs

Pilot weight: 185 lbs

Passenger weight: 950 lbs

Cargo weight: 200 lbs

Airplane Full Fuel Weight: 1000 lbs

Airplane Full Fuel Weight: 1000 lbs

Total Aircraft Weight = 5,335 lbs (374 lbs OVER MGTW)

Total Aircraft Weight = 5,335 lbs (374 lbs OVER MGTW)

In this scenario, I need to lose weight

Usually the passengers and their cargo have to leave, because it is they who do the work, so the fuel must be reduced

Instead of filling the airplane fuel tank up to 100%, I can only fill it to about 60% to keep the airplane below its MGTW

This just means I may have to refuel more often or plan the day to have a fuel stop somewhere along the way

If you want to know how much fuel today’s modern commercial airplanes can carry and how much it costs to fill them, please see this article:

How much fuel do airplanes carry?

Because the maximum gross takeoff weight of an aircraft is so important, it is listed in the Limitations section of every aircraft flight manual

Exceeding any weight in the limitations section deems the aircraft unairworthy

Even the mammoth Antanov AN-225 has a maximum weight limit that the flight crew must adhere to, albeit significantly higher than the maximum take-off weight of a Gulfstream G650!

This compromise is what pilots make for every flight to ensure that the maximum fuel can be taken when the load is lifted from the plane

Fuel, passengers, cargo – That’s all the pilots can manipulate!

How much does a helicopter weigh?

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