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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Weight distribution is the apportioning of weight within a vehicle, especially cars, airplanes, and trains.

In a vehicle which relies on gravity in some way, weight distribution directly affects a variety of vehicle characteristics, including handling, acceleration, traction, and component life. Ideal weight distribution will vary from vehicle to vehicle and from application to application. For example, the weight distribution for a dedicated drag car will be different from that of a car built for road racing.

In the airline industry, load balancing is used to evenly distribute the weight of passengers, cargo, and fuel throughout an aircraft, so as to keep the aircraft's center of gravity close to its center of pressure to avoid losing pitch control. In military transport aircraft, it is common to have a loadmaster as a part of the crew; their responsibilities include calculating accurate load information for center of gravity calculations, and ensuring cargo is properly secured to prevent its shifting.

In large aircraft and ships, multiple fuel tanks and pumps are often used, so that as fuel is consumed, the remaining fuel can be positioned to keep the vehicle balanced, and to reduce stability problems associated with the free surface effect.

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