We provide a great selection of aircraft scales from several scale manufacturers. Intercomp is the world's largest manufacturer of fully electronic aircraft weighing systems. Their scale design is recognized by customers to be the most robust and reliable scale currently offered. At Central Carolina Scale, we offer the most comprehensive line of roll on platform scales and top of jack load cells to weigh everything from helicopters, single engine aircraft, UAV's to the world's largest passenger aircraft, the Airbus A380. Intercomp scales are used for testing and verification by airframe manufacturers such as Boeing, Airbus, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Cassidian, Embraer, Bell, Sikorsky and others during design, flight test, production & delivery. The world's largest airlines and maintenance centers use Intercomp scales during scheduled C&D checks and/or required weight & balance intervals.
The weight of an aircraft and its balance are extremely important for operating an aircraft in a safe manner. When a plane manufacturer designs an aircraft and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certifies it, the specifications identify the aircraft’s maximum weight and the limits within which it must balance. Safety is the primary reason for concern about an aircraft’s weight and balance. Improper loading reduces the efficiency of an aircraft from the standpoint of ceiling, maneuverability, rate of climb, speed, and fuel consumption. If an airplane is loaded in such a way that it is extremely nose heavy, higher than normal forces will need to be exerted at the tail to keep the airplane in level flight. The higher than normal forces at the tail will create additional drag, which will require additional engine power and therefore additional fuel flow in order to maintain airspeed. The most efficient condition for an aircraft is to have the point where it balances fall very close to, or perhaps exactly at, the aircraft’s center of lift.
After the aircraft leaves the factory and is delivered to its owner, the need or requirement for placing the aircraft on scales and reweighing it varies depending on the type of aircraft and how it is used. For a small general aviation airplane being used privately, such as a Cessna 172, to the best of our knowledge there is no FAA requirement that it be periodically reweighed. There is however, an FAA requirement that the airplane always have a current and accurate weight and balance report. If the weight and balance report for an aircraft is lost, the aircraft must be weighed and a new report must be created. If the airplane has new equipment installed, such as a radio, a new weight and balance report must be created. If the installer of the equipment wants to place the airplane on scales and weigh it after the installation, that is a perfectly acceptable way of creating the new report. Think about this, over time aircraft have a tendency to gain weight. Examples of how this can happen include an airplane being repainted without the old paint being removed, and the accumulation of dirt, grease, and oil in parts of the aircraft that are not easily accessible for cleaning. When new equipment is installed, and its weight and location are mathematically accounted for, some miscellaneous weight might be overlooked, such as wire and hardware. For this reason, even if the FAA does not require it, it is a good practice to periodically place an aircraft on scales and confirm its actual empty weight and empty weight center of gravity. Some aircraft are required to be weighed and have their center of gravity calculated on a periodic basis, typically every 3 years.