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Aviation Glossary :: Center of Gravity  Aviation Glossary :: Center of Gravity FAA Written Test Preparation
Aviation Glossary Welcome to the Dauntless Aviation Glossary!

At Dauntless, our editorial staff maintains the web's largest unified glossary of aviation terms. This glossary is built from a combination of official, quasi-official, and proprietary sources (including original material that we develop oursselves). Uniquely, we often provide multiple definitions of a given term so that you can find that which best applies to you. In order to maximize your learning efficiency, this glossary (and similar ones for our international users) is incresingly fully integrated into our aviation learning apps, including our FAA written test prep and FAA practical test prep software and apps. If you like this glossary, you'll love them with their polished learning environments and world's best and clearest content (please do give them a try.).

Center of Gravity
Center of Gravity
that point about which the aircraft would balance if suspended. For field weight and balance purposes/control, the center of gravity is normally calculated only along its longitudinal axis (nose to tail), disregarding both the lateral and vertical location.
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source: FAA Acceptable Methods - Aircraft Inspection and Repair (AC 43.13-1B)

Center of Gravity (CG): The point at which an airplane would balance if it were possible to suspend it at that point. It is the mass center of the airplane, or the theoretical point at which the entire weight of the airplane is assumed to be concentrated. It may be expressed in inches from the reference datum, or in percent of mean aerodynamic chord (MAC). The location depends on the distribution of weight in the airplane.
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source: FAA Airplane Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-3A)

The location on an aircraft about which the force of gravity is concentrated.
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source: FAA Aviation Maintenance Technician Airframe Handbook (FAA-H-8083-31)

The point about which the nose-heavy and tail-heavy moments are exactly equal in magnitude.
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source: FAA Aviation Maintenance Technician General Handbook (FAA-H-8083-30)

The theoretical point where the entire weight of the helicopter is considered to be concentrated.
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source: FAA Helicopter Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-21A)

(GAMA) The point at which an airplane would balance if suspended. Its distance from the reference datum is determined by dividing the total moment by the total weight of the airplane. It is the mass center of the aircraft, or the theoretical point at which the entire weight of the aircraft is assumed to be concentrated. It may be expressed in percent of MAC (mean aerodynamic cord) or in inches from the reference datum.
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source: FAA Weight and Balance Handbook (FAA-H-8083-1A)

Center of gravity (CG): The point at which an aircraft would balance if it were possible to suspend it at that point. It is the mass center of the aircraft, or the theoretical point at which the entire weight of the WSC is assumed to be concentrated. It may be expressed in inches from the reference datum, or in percent of mean aerodynamic chord (MAC). The location depends on the distribution of weight in the aircraft.
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source: FAA Weight Shift Control Handbook (FAA-H-8083-5)


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Disclaimer: While this glossary in most cases is likely to be highly accurate and useful, sometimes, for any number of editorial, transcription, technical, and other reasons, it might not be. Additionally, as somtimes you may have found yourself brought to this page through an automated term matching system, you may find definitions here that do not match the cotext or application in which you saw the original term. Please use your good judgement when using this resource.


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