Payload Fraction

In aerospace engineering, payload fraction is a common term used to characterize the efficiency of a particular design. Payload fraction is calculated by dividing the weight of the payload by the weight of the otherwise empty aircraft when fully fueled. Fuel represents a considerable amount of the overall takeoff weight, and for shorter trips it is quite common to load less fuel in order to carry a lighter load. For this reason the useful load fraction calculates a similar number, but based on the combined weight of the payload and fuel together.

Propeller-driven airliners had useful load fractions on the order of 25-35%. Modern jet-powered airliners have considerably higher useful load fractions, on the order of 45-55%.

For spacecraft the payload fraction is often less than 1%, while the useful load fraction is perhaps 90%. In this case the useful load fraction is not a useful term, because spacecraft typically can't reach orbit without a full fuel load. For this reason the related term mass fraction, is used instead. However, if the latter is large, the payload can only be small.

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Other articles related to "payload fraction, fraction, payload":

Payload Fraction - Examples
... Takeoff Mass Final Mass Mass ratio Mass fraction Ariane 5 (vehicle + payload) 746,000 kg (~1,645,000 lb) 2,700 kg + 16,000 kg (~6,000 lb + ~35,300 lb) 39.9 0.975 Titan ...

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