• Question: before you go on the plane, you have to keep in mind how much your luggage weighs as there is a limit on how much you can take, so say there were 150 people on the plane how much luggage could there be per person?

    Asked by 466appb35 to Huw, Gosha, Ray, Stacey, Steve on 16 Mar 2015.
    • Photo: Huw Williams

      Huw Williams answered on 16 Mar 2015:

      This one’s not a simple answer but here goes…

      The amount of payload (Luggage) you can carry is related to;

      1) The temperature on the day of the flight (This affects how much engine power you can use).
      2) The mass of the aircraft (Big aircraft need to carry more fuel to move them).
      3) The distance it has to fly (More distance requires more fuel).
      4) The number of people on board (More people require more fuel).

      So once you work out all that then you can subtract it from the maximum payload value to work out how much you have for luggage.

      So.. Say you fly in a Boeing 737-600NG on a normal day;
      It weighs around 40 tons on it’s own,
      Then you add 30 tons of fuel,
      Then the weight of 150 passengers, 12 tons (if they’re American and a bit on the porky side).
      The maximum take off weight is 85 tons.

      That leaves you with 3 tons left over for luggage;
      85-40-30-12=3 tons

      3000/150=20 Kg per person

      So you can quickly see there’s not much room for overweight luggage otherwise you’d never be able to take off!

      I hope that helps.

      Huw 🙂

    • Photo: Ray Butchart

      Ray Butchart answered on 16 Mar 2015:

      I like Huw’s answer. That is sort of how I would determine it.

    • Photo: Gosha Barzowska

      Gosha Barzowska answered on 17 Mar 2015:

      Good answer Huw! However I would rather say: ‘ You fly on Airbus A320’! 🙂
      Also if an Aircraft manufacturer decides to change the design of the aircraft and increase it’s MTOW (Maximum take off weight) it will usually mean that they can carry more fuel and go further. I don’t think the luggage allowance will ever change ;/

    • Photo: Steve Cox

      Steve Cox answered on 17 Mar 2015:

      Huw’s the expert on this one – as an engineer you understand that everyone specialises in a particular area and you respect that they have expertise in that area and take on board what they say.

      (That’s not to say I couldn’t have answered this question because it still involves general engineering principles, it’s just that Huw’s answer is so much more complete because of his background).

    • Photo: Stacey Cutten

      Stacey Cutten answered on 17 Mar 2015:

      Yep, just as everyone else has agreed – Huw’s the one to ask here… sorry I couldn’t be of any help!