Wing Loading Calculator

Created by Krishna Nelaturu
Last updated: Nov 05, 2022

Our wing loading calculator will help you determine the wing loading parameter, one of the crucial starting points in the aircraft design process. Whether you want to calculate the wing loading of your RC plane or a crewed aircraft, our calculator will prove helpful. Join us below to briefly discuss what wing loading is and how to calculate it.

What is wing loading?

Wing loading or wing area loading (WAL) is a calculation used to determine the amount of lift generated by an aircraft wing. It is also a measure of the aircraft's weight divided by the wing's area. The formula for wing loading WLW_L:

WL=Aircraft weightWing areaW_L = \frac{\text{Aircraft weight}}{\text{Wing area}}

Similar to pressure, the units for measuring wing loading are kg/m2\rm{kg/m^2} or lb/ft2\rm{lb/ft^2}.

This calculation is essential for pilots, as it allows them to determine how much weight their plane can safely carry. In the following sections, we will explore how to calculate wing loading and discuss its benefits and drawbacks.

How to calculate wing loading?

Wing loading is determined by calculating the aircraft's weight and dividing that weight by the area of the wing. Let's look at how we can gather this data:

  1. The weight of an aircraft can be measured in various ways, depending on its size and configuration. For smaller aircraft, such as those used for recreational flying or light sport aviation, the pilot may record their weight when they board the plane and use that as a measure of weight. Pilots can obtain this measurement through instrumentation on the plane for larger or cargo aircraft or those involved in commercial aviation.
  1. Wing area calculation is often done using either basic geometric figures, such as a triangle or circle, or more complex shapes derived from mathematical formulas. For smaller or recreational aircraft, we can obtain this measurement by taking simple measurements of the wing: for example, we can measure the length and width of the wing to calculate its area (our area of a rectangle calculator can help you). For larger aircraft, we must use specialized software that can model the shape and dimensions of the aircraft's wings.

Calculating wing cube loading

Wing cube loading or cubic loading (WCL) is a similar parameter that is given by the formula:

WCL=Aircraft weightWing area1.5W_{CL} = \frac{\text{Aircraft weight}}{\text{Wing area}^{1.5}}

Similar to density, the units for measuring wing cube loading are kg/m3\rm{kg/m^3} or lb/ft3\rm{lb/ft^3}.

The calculation of wing cube loading can tell us how to group planes based on their flying characteristics - two planes with the same cubic loading will have similar flyability. The same is not necessarily valid for aircraft with the same wing loading values.

Using this wing loading calculator

This wing-loading calculator is simple to use:

  1. Enter the wing area of the plane.
  2. Input the ready-to-fly (RTF) weight of the aircraft.
  3. The calculator will automatically determine the wind loading parameter from the wing loading formula. It will also calculate wing cube loading for you.
  4. Clicking on the advanced mode gives some selection of aircraft. Choose any aircraft to autofill the wing area and ready-to-fly weight data. You can also change some values it gives you.
Krishna Nelaturu
Wing surface area (S)
ft²
Weight (W)
lb
Wing loading (W_L)
lb/ft²
Wing cube loading (W_CL)
lb/cu ft
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