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View Diary: How Airliners Work - Weight and Balance (160 comments)

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  •  We used to have to balance loads with pack horses. (11+ / 0-)

    My 4H leader's wife and I spent the summer of, I think it was  '75, running a weekly pack train of 6 or so horses up into the high country because they were blasting our section of the Pacific Crest Trail.

    You were supposed to balance each load within a pound or so, side-to-side, so the horses could maneuver around switchbacks, trees and big rocks, (and 250ft drops), and not get sore or off balance.

    The explosives were actually the easiest horses to pack because the bags were standard 50lb @, we just had to keep the A and B components on different horses and the blasting caps on a third.

     Good times. :-)

    Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
    ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

    by FarWestGirl on Tue May 07, 2013 at 05:22:29 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Or cross-country touring by bike (7+ / 0-)

      Forgotten about this until I read your comment.

      I used to do a lot of cross-country touring by bike.  There are four panniers and a handlebar bag on my touring bike. I load it up with everything I need for a trip--tent, sleeping bag, food, clothes, tools, etc.  

      For each trip, very quickly I developed a quick sense of packing the panniers ensuring left and right balance, and "just the right amount of weight" in the front so that the mass doesn't affect steering.     Hadn't thought about that in years....

      •  Glad to bring it back. :-) n/t (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        grover, ER Doc

        Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
        ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

        by FarWestGirl on Tue May 07, 2013 at 07:01:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Helicopters too care a lot... (4+ / 0-)

        about balance, including left and right.

        Airplanes care a lot about front and back; left and right not so much (excepting fuel).

      •  Backpacks too. (5+ / 0-)

        Heaviest load should be balanced at the small of your back, then outward then upward, especially if you're a woman. Guys can carry a load that's more evenly distributed (somewhat) but we women with our lower center of gravity will tip over with huge loads narrow trails if the load sits too high.

        I've carried really heavy loads for weeks (backpacking with dogs means they need lots of food) and never had much issue. It was all in how we balanced our loads.

        I always enjoyed watching noobs and the brand new (untested) gear types finish loading up their packs at the trailhead. My pack used to always be packed and be ready to go. I just tossed my camera on top. (And I can pack the dang thing the same way every time in my sleep)  So watching folks toss stuff in a pack always makes me wonder a bit...

        © grover

        So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

        by grover on Tue May 07, 2013 at 10:18:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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