We often travel by aircraft to travel destinations or for professional needs. The invention of these flying monsters has shortened our travel time and distance. Today, aircraft are not only used for transporting passengers from one point to another but are also used for transporting goods and military equipment. Military forces from all around the world use the fastest, heaviest planes and fighter aircraft for different purposes. So, do you want to know how much does a plane weighs? And what does one gallon of jet fuel weigh? Read the article till the end to know about the answers.
1. How much does a Plane Weigh?
If we take the example of the Boeing 737-800, which is an average-sized aircraft, then the maximum weight it can carry is around 80,000 kg (i.e., 175,000 lbs). But how much does a plane weigh without considering the cargo, crew, and passengers? This weight incorporates the aircraft’s weight, which is around 41,000 kg(i.e., 90,000 lbs), and the fuel weight, which is approximately 18,000 kg (i.e., 40,000 lbs). And the remaining weight, i.e., around 20,000 kg(45,000 lbs), is the weight of the cargo, passengers, and crew. (See 10 facts about plane smoke)
2. How much do Planes Weigh in Tons?Photo by Pascal Renet on Pexels
An average aircraft’s weight can vary from one another. Now let’s see how much does a plane weigh in tonnes or what the Boeing 747 series carries. First is the maximum take-off weight (MTOW), and second is the Empty Operating Weight(OEW).
The first one indicates the amount of weight that an average Boeing 747 aircraft carries while taking off (it includes passengers, cargo, fuel, and the aircraft’s weight). The second one is the aircraft’s weight minus the payload (which means the fuel, cargo, catering, passengers, etc.). The Boeing 747SP is the lightest variant of the 747 series. Its OEW is around 337,100 pounds (i.e., 152.9 tonnes) and the MTOW of the Boeing 747SP is approximately 700,000 pounds (i.e., 320 tonnes).
Also, the 747-8 is the heaviest variant of the Boeing 747 series. Its OEW weight is around 485,000 pounds i.e., 220.1 tonnes and its MTOW is about 987,000 pounds i.e., 447.7 tonnes.
3. How Heavy is the Heaviest Plane?
These are the top five aircraft that are the heaviest in the world:
- The Antonov An-225 Mriya: It is known as the biggest and heaviest plane in the world. It was built by the Ukrainian SSR. This monstrous cargo plane’s take-off weight is 710 tonnes. It can take an additional airlift payload of 559,580 pounds and a single-item payload of approximately 418,830 pounds. This aircraft can fly at 280 feet. It holds the record for having the longest wings and also has six engines.
- Aero Spaceline’s Super Gruppy: This aircraft is only used by NASA now. This US space agency uses Aero Spaceline’s Super Gruppy for transporting rocket and spacecraft equipment. Today, it can carry a load of up to 24000 kg (i.e., 54000 pounds) and fly at 300 mph (i.e., 480km/h). The Super Guppy Turbine N941NA is still being used by NASA. It stands 48 feet 6 inches (14.78 meters) tall and weighs approximately 54,500 pounds (i.e., 24721 kilograms) (payload).
- Lockheed C5 Galaxy: The US military regularly operates this heavyweight aircraft. Its payload capacity is around 135 tonnes. This monstrous aircraft can carry two M1 Abrams tanks, 16 Humvees, three Blackhawks, and other types of military vehicles. The C-5 Galaxy can cruise up to 7000 miles without cargo and refueling. It is the best and the longest-range airlift possessed by a military in the world.
- Boeing 747 Dreamlifter: It is the largest cargo aircraft in the world, with a length of 65,000 cubic feet. Its total volume is a 747-400F freighter. It can take up to 125 tonnes of payload.
- Antonov An-124 Ruslan: It was first introduced 30 years ago in 1984. This Russian aircraft is used in their military force and is the heaviest and largest aircraft in the world. It can carry a payload of 165 tonnes.
4. How much does a 747 Airplane Weigh?Photo by Marina Hinic on Pexels
The weight of the Boeing 747 aircraft depends on the model. So, how much does a plane weigh, or more specifically, how much does a 747 airplane weigh in tonnes? However, the average Boeing 747’s empty operating weight is between 152.9 tonnes and 220.1 tonnes. And the maximum take-off weight is between 320 tonnes and 447 tonnes. (See Why do babies cry on airplanes?)
5. How Heavy is a Fully Loaded 737?
The Boeing 737 can carry up to 119 passengers. Its cargo capacity(payload) is around 30,000 lbs and the fuel weight capacity is around 15,000 liters.
6. What does One Gallon of Jet Fuel weigh?
American society determines the Jet-A fuel density limits for the D1655 Testing and Materials(ASTM) Specification. As per the temperature of the aircraft, the density limits are established. For instance, the density limits are from 6.46 to 6.99 gal/lbs when the temperature is 60°F. In a Gulfstream G450 Jet, this range equates to 28,230 lbs at 6.46 lbs/gallon. (See How many Gallons of Gas in a Barrel of Oil?)
7. How Fast do Planes fly in mph?
An extended-range commercial passenger aircraft’s typical cruising speed is between 880 and 926 km/h i.e around 547 to 575 mph.
8. Do Planes get Weighed before Takeoff?
To guarantee that the aircraft can take off and land safely, performance calculations are carried out before each flight. The weight of the airplane and its balance are two factors that are calculated. For appropriate control (mainly pitch control) during take-off and flight, balance is crucial. (Also read Which is the closest airport to Andorra?)