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Beginner's Guide to Propulsion

Thrust to Weight Ratio - Worksheet
Thrust to Weight Ratio

Name of Aircraft
Number of Engines
Engine Type

Name of Engine
Thrust per Engine in kN
Total Thrust

Thrust per engine x number of engines

Name of Aircraft
Engine Mass in kg
Total Engine Weight in kN

Engine mass x number of engines x 9.8 m/s2

Airplane Mass in kg
Airplane Weight in kN

Mass x 9.8 m/s2

Name of Aircraft
Thrust to Engine Weight Ratio
Thrust to Airplane Weight Ratio

Note: Weight (in Newtons) is equal to mass times the gravitational acceleration rate of 9.8 m/s2.

Note: Remember that kN is simply N divided by 1000.

Note: For Airplane Weight, if more than one value is given, find and use the average of the values. Recall that to find an average, simply add up the values given and divide by the number of values.

Answer the following questions:

  1. What are the four forces that act on an aircraft?

  2. What are three things that determine the weight of an airplane?

  3. What are two things that determine the thrust of an airplane?

  4. A high thrust to weight ratio means that the aircraft will have high _____________and a high _______________.
  5. If the thrust to weight ratio is greater than 1, this means the aircraft will be able to ______________________________.
  6. Which of your four aircraft from the table above had the greatest thrust to engine weight ratio?

  7. Which of your four aircraft had the greatest thrust to aircraft weight ratio?

  8. Was your answer the same for questions 6 and 7? Why or why not?

  9. Explain what a ratio is in your own words.

  10. Write a few sentences summarizing this activity and what you learned from it.