## Friday, March 3, 2017

### Airplanes and Math

When ever I get ready to travel, I call the local agent to find out if they know when the plane is coming.  This leads to a yes its due at ________ or call back in 30 minutes when we hope to have an update.

If you get the green light, they will ask you how much do you think your luggage weights.  No they don't weigh it because you go out to the airport when your plane is coming in for a landing.  As soon as it comes to a stop, you haul your stuff out and wait till your name is called.

The other thing they always ask is "How much do you weigh fully clothed."  In summer you add about 5 lbs but in winter you throw in 15 lbs to cover your winter gear. This is important because a planes performance is determined by its weight.

There is a whole set of calculations for figuring out how much baggage the plane can carry.  All airplanes have a maximum weight they cannot exceed or they cannot take off safely.  The total weight includes the weight of the plane, fuel, passengers, baggage, etc.  They weigh the checked baggage but not the carry on pieces.  My local one weighs everything including all carryons.

Since most regular airlines do not require people to weigh themselves, they use a constant weight for men or woman and another set of constants for clothing in summer or winter.  These are used to calculate the weight of the pilots, stewards, and passengers.  There is also all the luggage associated with travelers. This is why sometimes you arrive on one flight while your luggage arrives on another.

When they calculate the weight of the fuel, the number depends on the type of fuel used.  A certain conversion factor is used.

It is quite easy to find all the necessary numbers for any airplane on the internet so students could create a spread sheet or do a project where they are responsible for determining  the maximum amount of luggage which can be loaded. Everything to do this project is found on the internet.

Let me know what you think.