Moderators: richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
UK_Dispatcher
Topic Author
Posts: 2254
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2001 8:44 pm

Ballast - Airline Solutions?

Thu Sep 02, 2010 11:41 am

On certain aircraft types or certain configurations of aircraft, it can be necessary to use ballast in order to correct the aircraft's CG.

I was wondering what solutions different airlines use, what the certification requirements are (if any) and whether there are companies out there who can provide ballast solutions to airlines.

Any information would be appreciated.
 
CosmicCruiser
Posts: 2471
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 3:01 am

RE: Ballast - Airline Solutions?

Thu Sep 02, 2010 11:49 am

We use either unusable fuel or a ballast pallet.
 
KingAir200
Posts: 668
Joined: Sun May 28, 2006 1:37 pm

RE: Ballast - Airline Solutions?

Thu Sep 02, 2010 6:19 pm

A lot of regional airlines use either sandbags or rubber planks.
 
474218
Posts: 4510
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2005 12:27 pm

RE: Ballast - Airline Solutions?

Thu Sep 02, 2010 7:19 pm

I have seen lead ingots and steel I beams.
 
dairbus
Posts: 519
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2003 10:45 am

RE: Ballast - Airline Solutions?

Fri Sep 03, 2010 3:21 am

Sandbags are the most common form of ballast where I worked but in a pinch I have also used cases of sodas and bundles of in-flight magazines.  


I have also seen some airlines use bags with filled with lead shot.
"I love mankind. It's people I can't stand." - Charles Shultz
 
User avatar
tb727
Posts: 2260
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 1:40 pm

RE: Ballast - Airline Solutions?

Fri Sep 03, 2010 3:34 am

I'm only familiar with freighters but on the Zantop Electras I remember looking up there and seeing a pallet with a big plastic container they could fill with water for ballast. On the 72 we have our pretty heavy flyaway kit up in the forward part of the front belly pit and sometimes use fuel but that's rare because we usually need it and you can't burn ballast fuel. Brake assemblies and spares work too if you have the room.
Too lazy to work, too scared to steal!
 
johnclipper
Posts: 539
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 5:44 am

RE: Ballast - Airline Solutions?

Fri Sep 03, 2010 10:15 am

At ABX, there were "C" containers filled with cement as ballast.
"Flown every aircraft since the Wright Flyer" (guys, if you take this literally, then you need to get a life...)
 
747m8te
Posts: 440
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 10:14 am

RE: Ballast - Airline Solutions?

Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:47 am

Airlines ive worked for usually use sand bags...mostly this has occured on ferry flights, or flights with really light passenger loads, some aircraft just cant fly empty, and need extra weight distributed for the best CG for the aircrafts trim! the Embraer 170/190s are known for this.
Flown on:
DHC8Q200,DHC8Q300,DHC8Q400, EMB145,E170,E175,E190, A319,A320,A321,A332,A333,A343,A380, MD80, B712,B733,B734,B737,B738,B743,B744,B744ER,B762,B763,B77W
 
FlyASAGuy2005
Posts: 3965
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 4:55 am

RE: Ballast - Airline Solutions?

Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:16 pm

We use to have sandbags but did away with them. They were very messy and the weight was never right because we would have a spill and no one would say anything to have them refilled but rather just tie the bag back up. We now use what looks like rubber dumbbells each weighing 50lbs I think.
What gets measured gets done.
 
CanadianNorth
Posts: 3275
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2002 11:41 am

RE: Ballast - Airline Solutions?

Fri Sep 03, 2010 8:34 pm

Round here it's rarely needed, but on the HS748 when they are empty they tend to be front heavy, so for training flights and the like we keep a couple boxes of old chains, retired bottle jacks, etc, and strap those in the aft baggage area. If they are ferrying out for a longer trip like a fuel haul or something then a box of oil, couple spare tires, some tools, and a few other bits and pieces like that usually does the trick.


CanadianNorth
HS-748, like a 747 but better!
 
Dalmd88
Posts: 3164
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2000 3:19 am

RE: Ballast - Airline Solutions?

Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:19 am

I hate the sand bag route. On the MD80 when the aft bin is inop ballast is used back there instead of bags. Usually it is inop due to a damaged aft floor panel. Before you fix it you have to move all these leaking sand bags. The bin tuns into a beach sometimes. Making that panel sucks enough without adding the sand element.
 
Dufo
Posts: 821
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:41 am

RE: Ballast - Airline Solutions?

Sun Sep 05, 2010 8:22 am

In Saab 340 cargo we use 25kg sandbags and/or 5gallon water tanks. Not more than two are needed in the rearmost compartment though, usually not even that.
I seriously think I just creamed my pants without any influence from any outside variables.
 
User avatar
HAWK21M
Posts: 30114
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2001 10:05 pm

RE: Ballast - Airline Solutions?

Sun Sep 05, 2010 7:50 pm

Depends on the load required.....Sandbags for larger loads,unserviceable tires for smaller loads.
regds
MEL.
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
airtran737
Posts: 3489
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 3:47 am

RE: Ballast - Airline Solutions?

Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:06 pm

On the MD-11F with the FAK in the bulk and the EFAK in the nose we have to take a minimum of 26,000 lbs of ballast in the upper aux to make her trim out. If we can't get the EFAK moved from the aft to the forward which is very common when flying for the military, then it takes about 54,000 lbs of ballast fuel to trim her out. The MD-11F is an extremely tail heavy bird, even on a normal flight we shoot for a -30 on the index unit to get her optimum CG. I prefer the 747F, which I work 90% of the time, but have chosen to go back to the MD-11F for the rest of the month. The 747 doesn't need ballast on ferry flights
Nice Trip Report!!! Great Pics, thanks for posting!!!! B747Forever
 
AA737-823
Posts: 5521
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2000 11:10 am

RE: Ballast - Airline Solutions?

Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:18 pm

On the aircraft that I'm familiar with, we use sand in 5-gallon plastic bottles. Each bottle weighs about 60 pounds.
Keeping it in plastic bottles eliminates the mess left behind by simply using leaky sand bags.
 
bjorn14
Posts: 3595
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:11 pm

RE: Ballast - Airline Solutions?

Mon Sep 06, 2010 4:05 pm

A bit OT but are their computer programs to figure out weight & balance or do ailines still use paper & pencil like I did in the old days?
"I want to know the voice of God the rest is just details" --A. Einstein
 
KingAir200
Posts: 668
Joined: Sun May 28, 2006 1:37 pm

RE: Ballast - Airline Solutions?

Mon Sep 06, 2010 5:47 pm

Quoting bjorn14 (Reply 15):
A bit OT but are their computer programs to figure out weight & balance or do ailines still use paper & pencil like I did in the old days?

Depends on the airline. I would guess all major airlines do electronic weight and balance. NW did and DL does. A lot of regionals also do it electronically, but there are a few that still do it manually.

[Edited 2010-09-06 10:49:26]
 
User avatar
Zkpilot
Posts: 4555
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:21 pm

RE: Ballast - Airline Solutions?

Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:09 am

A lot of aircraft have permanent ballast fitted (often in the overhead bins etc). As you can guess this is not ideal as every kg of weight being carried around = increased fuel burn = increased $$ not to mention less payload.
This is due to how the aircraft is configured internally (galleys, Lavs, seats, etc etc).
64 types. 45 countries. 24 airlines.
 
twal1011727
Posts: 449
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 5:36 am

RE: Ballast - Airline Solutions?

Tue Sep 07, 2010 5:03 pm

Quoting DALMD88 (Reply 10):
On the MD80 when the aft bin is inop ballast is used back there instead of bags

Additionally, Delta removed the fwd airstairs for weight savings ; Unfortunately, this normally makes it necessary
to add sand on light pax flts or ferry flts.
There must be a hanger or storage compartment somewhere that has 117 MD88 airstairs stored in them.

Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 8):
We use to have sandbags but did away with them.

Really.... is that why we have 5 pallets(50 bags each pallet) of 50lb sand bags here in MLB.
They are only needed on the dreaded CRJ-200s.

KD

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Aaron747, IAHFLYR, Starlionblue and 24 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos