Airplanes weigh anywhere from 1,134 to 560,000 kg, or 1.25 to 625 tonnes, depending on the size and type of plane.

Airplanes also have both a maximum and minimum take off weight, whereby a plane cannot safely fly if it falls outside the range of these weights.

How Much Do Small Planes Weigh?

Small planes weigh between 1,134 and 2,040 kg / 1.25 and 2.23 tonnes.

These are the weights of five popular small planes: 

1. Pipistrel VELIS Electro

The Pipistrel VELIS Elector weighs 428 kg or 0.43 tonnes when empty and has a maximum takeoff weight of 600 kg or 0.6 tonnes. 

2. Piper Archer III

The Piper Archer III has an empty weight of 752 kg or 0.82 tonnes and a maximum takeoff weight of 1,160 kg or 1.27 tonnes. 

3. Cessna 172 Skyhawk

The Cessna 172 Skyhawk has an empty weight of 762 kg or 0.8 tonnes and a maximum takeoff weight of 1,160 kg or 1.2 tonnes. 

4. Diamond DA40 Diamond Star

The Diamond DA40 Diamond Star has an empty weight of 900 kg or 0.99 tonnes and a maximum takeoff weight of 1,310 kg or 1.4 tonnes. 

5. Cirrus SR22

The Cirrus SR22 has an empty weight of 1,065 kg or 1.17 tonnes and a maximum takeoff weight of 1,542 kg or 1.7 tonnes. 

How Much Do Private Jets Weigh?

Private jets weigh between 15,875 and 29,400 kg or 17.5 and 32.5 tonnes.

These are the weights of 5 popular private jets. 

1. Embraer Phenom 100

The Embraer EMB-500 Phenom 100 has an empty weight of 1,470 kg or 1.62 tonnes and a maximum takeoff weight of 4,750 kg or 5.23 tonnes. 

2. HondaJet Elite HA-420

The Honda Elite HA-420 has an empty weight of 3,367 kg or 3.6 tonnes and a maximum takeoff weight of 4,854 kg or 5.35 tonnes. 

3. Cessna Citation X

The Cessna Citation X has an empty weight of 8,900 kg or 9.8 tonnes and a maximum takeoff weight of 16,400 kg or 18.1 tonnes. 

4. Dassault Falcon Jet Falcon 8X

The Dassault Falcon Jet Falcon 8X has an empty weight of 18,600 kg or 20.5 tonnes and a maximum weight of 33,100 kg or 36.5 tonnes. 

5. Bombardier Global Express

The Bombardier Global Express has an empty weight of 21,000 kg or 23.1 tonnes and a maximum takeoff weight of 44,500 kg or 49 tonnes. 

How Much Do Passenger Jets Weigh?

Most passenger jets (or commercial airliners) weigh between 140,000 kg and 576,000 kg or 154 and 634 tonnes.

These are the weights of 6 of the most common commercial airliners. 

1. Airbus A330

The Airbus A330 has an empty weight of 119,600 kg or 131 tons and a maximum takeoff weight of 233,000 kg or 257 tons. 

2. Boeing 777

The Boeing 777 has an empty weight of 134,800 kg or 149 tons and a maximum weight of 247,200 kg or 273 tons. 

3. Boeing 747

The Boeing 747 has an empty weight of 238,816 kg or 262.5 tons and a maximum takeoff weight of 333,400 kg or 367 tons. 

4. Airbus A380

The Airbus A380 has an empty weight of 361,000 kg or 398 tons and a maximum takeoff weight of 560,000 kg or 617 tons. 

5. Boeing 737

The Boeing 737 has an empty weight of 42,000 kg or 47 tons and a maximum takeoff weight of 78,000 kg or 85.9 tons. 

6. Airbus A320

The Airbus A320 has an empty weight of 42,600 kg or 47 tons and a maximum takeoff weight of 78,000 kg or 85.9 tons. 

How Much Do Fighter Jets Weigh?

Fighter jets weigh between 25,000 kg and 41,000 kg or 27.5 tonnes and 45 tonnes.

These are the weights of five of the most popular fighter jets. 

1. F-16 Fighting Falcon

The F-16 has an empty weight of 9,207.9 kg or 10.1 tonnes and a maximum takeoff weight of 21,772 kg or 24 tonnes. 

2. F-35 Lightning II

The F-35 has an empty weight of 10,900 kg or 12 tonnes and a maximum takeoff weight of 24,600 kg or 27.2 tonnes. 

3. Mikoyan Mig 29

The Russian Mig 29 has an empty weight of 13,380 kg or 14.75 tonnes and a maximum takeoff weight of 26,500 kg or 29.2 tonnes. 

4. Sukhoi Su-35

The Russian Su-35 has an empty weight of 18,400 kg or 20.2 tonnes and a maximum takeoff weight of 34,500 kg or 38 tonnes. 

5. Hercules Lockheed C-130

The Lockheed C-130 is a military transport aircraft that has a maximum takeoff weight of 34,382 kg or 37.8 tonnes and a maximum takeoff weight of 70,307 kg or 78 tonnes. 

What is the Heaviest Passenger Plane?

The Airbus A380-800 is the world’s heaviest passenger plane at 77,000 kg or 305 tonnes when empty, and it has a maximum takeoff weight of 560,000 kg or 617 tonnes. 

How Are Planes Able to Carry So Much Weight?

Airplanes are able to carry so much weight because their engines are designed to generate enough thrust and lift to compensate for the heavy loads.

Airplanes have four forces acting on them, one from each direction. 

Thrust is the force that moves the plane horizontally forward.

Lift is the force that moves the plane vertically upwards.

Aviation engineers design light wings to increase lift and better engines for increased thrust. 

The increased thrust and lift compensate for the downward force of higher weight.

What is Maximum Takeoff Weight & Why is it Important?

A plane’s maximum takeoff weight is the maximum mass it’s certified to carry.

A plane’s maximum takeoff weight is important because it cannot get airborne if it weighs more than it. 

Related: How Much Weight Can a Plane Hold?

What is Minimum Flight Weight & Why is it Important?

An aircraft’s minimum flight weight is the minimum mass needed for the pilot to stably control the plane during flight.

A plane’s minimum flight weight is important because it won’t properly fly if its weight is below its minimum flight weight. 

How Are Planes Weighed?

Airplanes are weighed through the use of load cells to lift the plane up, or by pulling the plane by a tow truck onto a weighing platform.

How Much Does Airplane Fuel Weigh?

The weight of fuel carried on a plane depends on the size of the plane, the size of its tanks, and the route it’s flying.

For example, the Boeing 747 carries around 183,600 kg or 202.3 tonnes of fuel at full capacity.

But planes rarely carry fuel at full capacity. 

To fly from London to New York, the Boeing 747-400 would burn 70,000 kg or 77.1 tonnes of fuel.

The same plane would burn 32,700 kg or 36 tonnes if it flew from Seoul to Taipei. 

Related: How Much Fuel Does a Plane Use?

Do Planes Have a Weight Limit for Passengers?

Planes don’t have an explicit weight limit for individual passengers.

Instead, the planes have a maximum total allowed weight for passengers. 

Related: Best Airlines for Overweight Passengers

How Much Does an Aircraft Carrier Weigh?

The Nimitz-class of aircraft carriers, which are the ten nuclear-powered aircraft carriers in service with the United States Navy, weigh around 99,000,000 kg or 99,000 metric tons. 

In conclusion:

  • An airplane’s weight depends on its size and type.
  • Naturally, small planes weigh the least, while large airliners weigh the most.
  • Airplanes are able to carry such massive weights because they’re designed to maximize the thrust from their engines and the lift from their wings.
  • These two forces move an airplane vertically upwards and horizontally forwards, which compensates for carrying heavy loads.
  • Airplanes also have both a maximum and a minimum takeoff weight.
  • A plane cannot properly fly if it either exceeds its maximum takeoff weight or dips below its minimum takeoff weight.

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