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Beginner's Guide to Propulsion & RangeGames
Thrust to Weight Ratio
Answers

Answers will vary. Suggested answers are shown below:


1. What determines the weight of an airplane? size and materials used in construction, payload and fuel carried by airplane

2. What determines the thrust of an airplane? size and type of propulsion system and the throttle setting

3. The thrust to weight ratio indicates how efficient total aircraft propulsion is.

4. According to Newton's Second Law of Motion, the higher an airplane's thrust to weight ratio is, the higher its acceleration, its excess thrust, and its rate of climb.

5. Which plane would you expect to be able to climb faster, a fighter plane or an airliner? fighter plane

6. Based on the previous question, which plane must have the higher thrust to weight ratio, the fighter plane or the airliner? fighter plane

Open RangeGames and use it to answer the following questions.

Set the "Mode" to Play, "Units" to Metric and "Aircraft" to Exec Jet. Below the "Aircraft" menu, locate the aircraft Weight and on the dials to the right, locate the Thrust.

7. In the data table below, record the weight in Newtons and the thrust in Newtons for Executive Jet 1.

8. Change the plane type to Fighter and record weight and thrust in the data table for Fighter 1.

9. Change the plane type to Airliner and record weight and thrust in the data table for Airliner 1.

10. Change the plane type to Executive Jet and record weight and thrust in the data table for Executive Jet 2.

11. Change the plane type to Airliner and record weight and thrust in the data table for Airliner 2.

12. Change the plane type to Fighter and record weight and thrust in the data table for Fighter 2.

Use a search engine and find the data to answer the following questions. Record your answers in the data table.

13. Using Search Engine, find the Gates Learjet. Record the weight in pounds on the data table and convert to Newtons. Record the thrust.

14. Using Search Engine, find the Boeing F/A-18 "Hornet". Record the weight in pounds on the data table and convert to Newtons. Record the thrust.

15. Using Search Engine, find the Boeing F-15 "Eagle". Record the weight in pounds on the data table and convert to Newtons. Record the thrust.

16. Using Search Engine, find the Boeing 747/VC-25. Record the weight in pounds on the data table and convert to Newtons. Record the thrust.

17. Using Search Engine, find another plane of your choice and click on the Specs. Record the weight in pounds on the data table and convert to Newtons. Record the thrust.

18. Calculate the thrust to weight ratios in the data table.

19. Compare the thrust to weight ratios in airliners, fighter jets, and executive jets. thrust to weight ratio is generally highest in fighters, next highest in executive jets, and lowest in airliners

20. Conclude by explaining why certain types of planes require a higher thrust to weight ratio. fighter planes have to be able to accelerate quickly, so they need a high thrust to weight ratio

21. List any plane from the data table which can accelerate vertically. F-15 "Eagle", (also F-22 "Rapier")

 

Data Table

Airplane

Weight in lbs.

divide by 2.2 to convert to kg

multiply by gravity = 9.80 to convert to Newtons

weight in Newtons

thrust in Newtons

thrust to weight ratio

Executive Jet 1

---

---

---
varies
48,793
varies 15970
varies
0.327

Executive Jet 2

---
---
---
varies
varies
varies

Learjet

13010



57953
25400*
0.438

Fighter 1

---
---
---
varies
varies
varies

Fighter 2

---
---
---
varies
varies
varies

F/A-18 "Hornet"

51906

.

.

231,217
142,200
0.615

F-15 "Eagle"

40,010

.

.

178,226
211,800
1.19

Airliner 1

---
---
---
varies
varies
varies

Airliner 2

---
---
---
varies
varies
varies

Boeing 747/VC-25

710,120

.

.

3,163,261
**774,000
0.244








*If there are 2 engines, engine thrust is doubled; to change kN (kiloNewtons) to Newtons, multiply by 1000.

**Because there are 4 engines, thrust must be multiplied by 4.


Related Pages:
Standards
Activity
Worksheet
Propulsion Activity Index
Propulsion Index

 

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Editor: Tom Benson
NASA Official: Tom Benson
Last Updated: Thu, Jun 12 04:39:28 PM EDT 2014

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