What is an aircraft’s payload?

Here is a good article from AOPA explaining payload for an airplane. I’m trying to determine the maximum cargo load I can fly in the Kodiak. It turns out that payload doesn’t include fuel. The payload includes the weight that the customer pays for when hiring and aircraft.

Here are two key items from the article:

  • Not all the fuel can be subtracted. Unusable fuel can’t be burned so it remains as part of the aircraft’s weight. Total up the gallons of fuel that can be burned, multiply by the weight per gallon (six pounds per gallon for avgas or 6.8 pounds for Jet A), and subtract that from the aircraft’s useful load. Uh, oh. What’s useful load?
  • The FAA definition is this: Payload is the weight of occupants, cargo, and baggage.
  • MAXIMUM CERTIFICATED WEIGHTS FOR QUEST KODIAK
    Ramp……………………………………………………………………6800 lb
    Takeoff …………………………………………………………………6750 lb
    Landing………………………………………………………………..6690 lb

In the case of the Kodiak, the useful load is:

  • TYPICAL AIRPLANE WEIGHTS
    Standard Empty Weight ………………………………………..3530 lb
    Maximum Standard Useful Load……………………………3270 lb

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Author: korkiley

Systems Administrator at University of Vermont (retired as of 7/1/2012) Married Favorite Activities: Condor Glider Online Competition, Developing web sites, making espresso, and keeping a blog

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