Topic Author
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2004 5:42 pm

Maximum Takeoff Weight

Mon Jan 25, 1999 11:29 am

How does an airline know if an airplane is over or under the MTOW? Is there some indicator in the cockpit?? And if the airplane is over the MTOW, will the plane just not fly, or can it still fly - but it's just unsafe. Sorry about all the questions. Thank you.

RE: Maximum Takeoff Weight

Mon Jan 25, 1999 12:42 pm

The shocks weigh the plane and the pilot can read it on a instrument!

RE: Maximum Takeoff Weight

Mon Jan 25, 1999 7:05 pm

Some air carriers are using the new Honeywell system. This system places a sensor under each passenger seat.
As passengers load, the crew gets very precise weight/balance numbers of the aircraft. Should passengers board late, move from one spot in the cabin to another, they always have an exact count of weight/balance.

RE: Maximum Takeoff Weight

Tue Jan 26, 1999 2:25 am

Most of the time, they use a set weight for each passenger and each bag. They then add that weight to the ZFW (zero fuel weight) and the weight of the fuel. The GW (gross weight) is very important to the plane's operation. The pilot can take the GW and the OAT (outside air temperature) and find what the proper speeds and thrust settings for takeoff are. The heavier the plane and the hotter the airport, the higher thrust settings and higher speeds. Also the elevator trim setting is also derived from that information. The plane is definitely NOT allowed to attempt takeoff over MTOW! The plane may not be able to get up to the correct takeoff speed with the available runway if it's too heavy. The most important speeds are V1, Vr, and V2. V1 is the "decision" speed at which the pilots commit to takeoff once this speed is attained, EVEN with an engine failure. Vr is the "rotate" speed at whice the pilots pull back on the yoke (or stick in an Airbus!) to pitch the plane up for ground separation. V2 is the minimum safe speed for climb. This is useful if an engine failed, and the pilots need to climb at the best speed/rate to climb to an altitude where they can dump fuel and come back around to the airport.

Noel Benford

RE: Maximum Takeoff Weight

Wed Feb 03, 1999 3:03 am

The MTOW is preestablished by the manufacturer and it is the same in every flight, unless the airliner modifies the specifications of the aircraft (aditional seats, aditional avionics etc...). The cockpit does not have an instrument to indicate this, but to know if every one of this flights are under or over the MTOW, every airliner have some flight dispatcherS and they are who determine the actual weight of the aircraft with some weight and balance operations, if the airplane is overweighted it can still fly, but it will do it under unsafe conditions and a crash can be very probable, to avoid this the aircraft must take off at or under the MTOW.

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