Vehicle: Airplane: Seat
Airplane Seating Scales   (+4, -1)  [vote for, against]
Makes it easier to balance the load

By putting scales on airplane seats, and a computer program to calculate the center of mass, the luggage loader on the airplane can figure out much easier how to distribute the luggage much easier before takeoff. Some other uses might include assigned seating arangements too, whereby the airplane automatically calculates the weight distribution and then tells the passenger to trade places with another passenger on the airplane if it suits the flight dynamics better. After all, it's better than flying an unbalanced load with more heavy people on one side than the other side, or in the front than in the back of the plane.
-- quantum_flux, Oct 14 2009

You have missed the obvious opening here: weight-based surcharges, to pay for the scales and a little extra profit.
-- vincevincevince, Oct 14 2009

You have missed the obvious opening here: bumper-car seats which the on-board weight-balancing computer move around until it finds the optimum balance then magnetically fixes them to the floor.
-- FlyingToaster, Oct 14 2009

@[21 Quest] - Nobody can deny, but you're a little bit old fashioned with your methods. How exactly does one go about balancing an airplane on a the head of a single loadmaster though? Shouldn't the airplane be balanced on 2 loadmasters for the plumbob experiment instead, one at the nose and one at the tail of the plane, and maybe a couple safety loadmasters at each of the wingtips?

@[FlyingToaster] - Pure genius. You are a true pioneer, my friend, in the art of automated robotic bumper seats that magnetically attach to/detach from the floor and locamote on aluminum tank treads to solve real world weight distribution problems :)

@[vinceX3] - You must be a conservative economist. That's good, the world could use many more of those, hone that skill buddy, excellent ;)
-- quantum_flux, Oct 14 2009

It's possible to eliminate structural stresses or to optimize the rotational mass-inertia in the plane by my method.
-- quantum_flux, Oct 14 2009

@[21_Quest]: The procedure you describe i do not understand the workings of. - I considered a plane, sitting on a plain, perfectly distributed weight inside. now someone dangles a plumb bob (pb) from a marked spot, and marks the spot it points at (And does this for several points, to have some redundancy). Ever after, people hang their pb from those marked spots, and look for divergence of this optimum. If the plane is loaded tail-heavy, the tail-wheels sag a little in their suspension, and the whole tail probably bows down a bit, so the whole plane will have a little tilt, and the tail will have the most tilt. Now what i do not understand is this: The whole procedure is totally dependend on the suspension system working as it did on the day of first marking, the plane bending like it did then, and the ground being perfectly flat. -> That sounds error prone.

//I'd really rather not put the safety of all those passengers in the hands of a computer// - most of the current jet fighters are only airborne by the grace of a computer, and near-all civilian transport is flown by computers for most of the way.

Aside: I love the part Amish/part cyber warrior habit of the armed forces... best epitomized in the worse-than-bad movie 'Stealth': Says a fighter pilot (regarding the moral superiority of human-in-plane over computer-in-plane): "...the action should never be divorced from the consequences." - I never laughed so hard while feeling so sickened.
-- loonquawl, Oct 14 2009

Surely this doesn't matter much on large commercial aircraft. The CG loading area must be huge.

{For small craft (2-10ish seats) we'd weight the passengers (or ask them for their weight) before boarding and seat them accordingly (or move luggage around)}
-- phoenix, Oct 14 2009

@[21_Quest] - What happens if the front landing gear shocks are shorter and stiffer than the rear landing gear shocks, perhaps for the purpose of increasing pressure drag upon landing? Or perhaps the pilot likes to take off with the rear landing gear partially raised....Then the plumbob method has a mechanical bias introduced, right?

@[Phoenix] - Everything matters if you happen to be a perfectionist.

@[UnaBubba] - (1) There certainly are more visual flight rated pilots that get into crashes than there are instrument rated pilots crashing. (2) It may be disquieting for passengers to think of themselves as moveable ballast, however, wouldn't that make the world a more humble and better place if they did?
-- quantum_flux, Oct 14 2009

// the planes I worked on have been flying since 1963 //

Someone should let them know it's okay to come down now.
-- tatterdemalion, Oct 14 2009

-- quantum_flux, Oct 26 2009

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