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Full fuel payload

Asked by: 1304 views General Aviation

Hi 

I was comparing the PC12NG and the TBM900 early today and I came across the full fuel payload. When comparing these I noticed that the full fuel payload was not even enough to carry full seats. Does this mean you can't even fill all the seats? 

What Does full fuel payload mean?

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2 Answers



  1. jeff on May 23, 2016

    Short answer is yes. There are many examples of aircraft where the weight limit prevents you from filling all the seats and full fuel. Actually, it is very common.

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  2. Russ Roslewski on May 24, 2016

    It’s very common as Jeff states. But what I would suggest is the idea that if you can fill the seats with adults and fill the fuel tanks, then the tanks are designed too small.

    It’s easy to design an aircraft that can fill the seat and tanks – Make a Cessna 172 with 20 gallon tanks or some other low number. Of course, then the well-deserved complaint would be that you can’t make it very far, even if you only have one person on board.

    Having tanks that are large enough to prevent carrying seats full of adults enhances the flexibility of the aircraft – you can go extremely far with only one or two people, or you can fill the seats, but the tradeoff is that then you can’t go as far.

    It’s kind of a pet peeve of mine – what people will sometimes refer to as a “true four-place airplane” I would refer to instead as an airplane that should have had larger tanks fitted.

    Flexibility is the key – fly far or fill the seats – the airplane can only carry so much weight after all. If your planned flights exceed the range of the aircraft with full seats and whatever remaining fuel fits in the tank, then you need a different airplane.

    One of the flying magazines reported on a new model of Mooney a few years ago where if you added every possible option – long range fuel tanks, TKS weeping wing, air conditioning, on and on, you were left with something like 27 pounds for the pilot. Obviously that’s an extreme example, and you simply wouldn’t add every single option, but while it’s comical picturing a 27-pound pilot, in truth it means the airplane was designed with a maximum of flexibility in the available options – pick what you need!

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