A stunning interior might be on your wish list, but before you go all out, consider the weight
it’ll cost to look that good.
TREAT YOUR AIRPLANE’S WEIGHT AS YOU DO YOUR OWN
Our own weight increases in ounces in an unnoticed trend,
not in sudden pounds that catch our attention. Airplanes
gain weight the same way, by the ounce, which is why it’s so
difficult to lighten them up once they are finished. So, during the build, we look at every single nut, screw, and part
and evaluate its weight and whether we can do better.
And don’t forget: It does no good to build a lightweight
airplane if we are overweight ourselves. We have a friend
who slaved to knock 40 pounds out of his biplane, but he
was an easy 50 pounds (one cement bag) overweight himself. If we have the determination to build an airplane, it
seems logical that we should also have the determination to
keep our own weight down.
So, the next time you start to put something on your airplane, a little voice should ask, “Do you really need this and
is it light enough?” Unless the answer is a resounding yes,
leave it on the shelf.
Budd Davisson is an aeronautical engineer, has flown 300 different types,
and has published four books and more than 4,000 articles. He is editor-in-chief
of Flight Journal magazine and a flight instructor primarily in Pitts/tailwheel
aircraft. Visit him on