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Aircraft empty weight vs number of passenger seats

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Aircraft empty weight vs number of passenger seats

Old 13th Dec 2014, 12:55
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Aircraft empty weight vs number of passenger seats

Aircraft manufacturers keep producing new designs that are much more fuel efficient than older ones, using lighter materials (composites), better aerodynamics (new wings and winglets), more fuel efficient engines and other methods as well (lack of bleed air for packs in the 787 for example).

I would like to take a look at the weight savings aspects, by comparing the Operating Empty Weights of actual fleet aircraft and dividing it by the number of passenger seats installed in that particular configuration, the see how many Kilograms of aircraft empty weight it takes to haul one passenger. All other things being equal, the lightest aircraft should be the most fuel efficient. Of course long haul aircraft are built heavier than short haul aircraft.

Please post the actual Operating Empty Weight of your aircraft and the number of passenger seats installed in it, and divide the weight by the number of seats. We'll see which are the heavier aircraft and which are the lightest. Am interested in having all airline types, from older 737-200s, 737-200s, to MD-80s, right up to the 787s and Emb 195s.

Are the older types like the 727-200, MD-11s and 747-400s that much heavier than more modern aircraft such as the B777, A330, the Emb 195 and the 787 ?
How does a 737-800 compare in empty weight per Pax to an Airbus 320 ?
How does a 747-800 compare to an A-380 ?

Of course the configuration (number of seats) varies greatly on the same aircraft type from one operator to another, and that will change the results, but hopefully with enough data, we will be able to make valid comparisons.

Please post the Operating Empty weight - Revenue (including crew but not the catering) of your aircraft and the total number of passenger seats, and divide the weight by the number of installed seats.

Example :

Airbus 330-200 OEW 118,500Kg, 342 seats (12+330) = 346.5 Kg/Pax
Airbus 330-300 OEW 120,400Kg, 342 seats (12+330) = 352.0 Kg/Pax
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Old 13th Dec 2014, 16:06
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Airbus 320 OEW 42050Kg, 180 seats = 233.6 Kg/Pax
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Old 13th Dec 2014, 16:38
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A few examples from high-density European charter flying in the 90s:


B757-200 APS weight 59750kg, 235 seats, 254kg/seat
B767-200 APS weight 83200kg, 274 seats, 304kg/seat
B767-300 APS weight 91500kg, 344 seats, 266kg/seat

NB: APS weight includes crew and galley stores, for which I no longer have figures
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Old 13th Dec 2014, 17:37
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An hour with Google and the OP would have had a pretty comprehensive graph by now.
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Old 13th Dec 2014, 18:39
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An hour with Google and the OP would have had a pretty comprehensive graph by now.
I thought of that but the manufacturer's empty weight as published on web sites is often far from reality and does not necessarily reflect the actual interior configuration. I was after real life numbers.......

Last edited by Gilles Hudicourt; 13th Dec 2014 at 19:03.
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Old 14th Dec 2014, 02:19
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Over the years, OEW has come down due to better materials, etc. But at least as much weight has come out of the fuel carried. A few percent per year over the decades; This is at least as significant as the structure weight!
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Old 14th Dec 2014, 03:37
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Over the years, OEW has come down due to better materials, etc. But at least as much weight has come out of the fuel carried. A few percent per year over the decades; This is at least as significant as the structure weight!
I left fuel out of this one precisely to see if structural weight has decreased proportionally, to see if newer aircraft are lighter per passenger than older ones. It remains to be seen....

I hope many people will reply with their aircraft's figures.....
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Old 14th Dec 2014, 04:30
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Empty Weight Per Seat?

@ G. H.:
You've already seen a few numbers. THe more detailed stuff varies a lot from model to model and airline to airline. In many cases, it is very closely guarded detail that darn sure will not publish. In your shoes, I'd be happy with what you've already been given, not expect much more and move one. As you can imagine, (should know) much if this operating data is closely held, competitive detail; the carriers darn sure won't release these data to you, a unknown, without darn good reason. YES! The carriers collect, maintain and use these numbers for their own, internal purposes. Disclosing this kind of fine detail to an outside visitor is just Not Going to Happen. I won't call these details truly "Secret," but you are getting very close to items are truly are competitive secrets. If nothing else, perhaps pose you question in a different way? Good luck. You are treading on seriously tender ground and that quick and easy answer is just not there. -NFZ
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Old 14th Dec 2014, 13:26
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The B788 Dow about 119.4/291 pax = 410 kg per seat...all those generators weigh a lot.vbr Stampe
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Old 14th Dec 2014, 14:18
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The manufacturers empty weight on their websites could well be used by the OP as weight in cabin is roughly proportionate to number of seats installed in many cases.

Apart from this, like mentioned before, most companies hold the exact detail of cabin fixtures and fittings close to their chest. After all, it give competitors an insight into how weight is managed by their competition.

Structural limitations are known, manufacturers empty weights known, number of seats can be Google'd, thus a comparison can be made. Taking into account that maybe not all seat can be fully occupied when operating at MTOW in certain scenarios, it still gives a good starting point and insight.
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Old 14th Dec 2014, 14:30
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EK 380 = approx 510kg per pax
CX 747 = approx 490kg per pax
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Old 14th Dec 2014, 15:46
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I found the Boeing 737-800 42,300Kg @ 189 Pax = 223.8Kg/Seat

So far:

Airbus 320 234 Kg/Seat
Airbus 330-200 346 Kg/Seat
Airbus 330-300 352 Kg/Seat
Airbus 380 510kg/Seat
B737-800 224/Seat
B747-400 490kg/Seat
B757-200 254kg/seat
B767-200 304kg/seat
B767-300 266kg/seat
B787-800 410/Pax kg

Interesting no ?

I hope we get more........
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Old 14th Dec 2014, 15:56
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Interesting to see that the 787 is heavier per seat by about a 100kg than the 767 it is supposed to be replacing. Guess all these weight saving technologies are eh.... really heavy.
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Old 14th Dec 2014, 16:03
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The manufacturers empty weight on their websites could well be used by the OP as weight in cabin is roughly proportionate to number of seats installed in many cases.
[URL="http://www.airbus.com/fileadmin/media_gallery/files/tech_data/jetFamily/media_object_file_A330_200_specifications.pdf"]

Typical operating weight empty 127,750 kg
this weight may be true and realistic for certain configurations but it is over 9 metric tonnes over a real life A330-200 that I found. This is why I am looking for real life data.
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Old 14th Dec 2014, 16:06
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Interesting to see that the 787 is heavier per seat by about a 100kg than the 767 it is supposed to be replacing. Guess all these weight saving technologies are eh.... really heavy.
Remember, it depends on the number of seats installed. Some Airbus 330-200s have 264 seats. Others have over 400, so the config has a LOT to do. This comparison will only be fair when a high density seating 767-300 is compared to a high density seating 787-800........
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Old 14th Dec 2014, 16:16
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Not sure how useful these stats are.

Fuel per passenger mile is surely much more useful.
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Old 14th Dec 2014, 16:30
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From the info available on the boeing website,

767-400ER 296 pax 2 class OEW 103872 (351 kg/pax)
787-8 242 pax mixed 3 class OEW 117798 (487 kg/pax)

even if you would fit the same number of pax (296) in a 787-8 its still heavier by about 50 kg per seat.
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Old 14th Dec 2014, 16:34
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Not sure how useful these stats are.
I also wonder what the point is or what is interesting. All it tells us is that aircraft gets exponentially heavier with size. Which is old news.
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Old 14th Dec 2014, 16:50
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Winners will be 320/321, 738/739 and 753 all in high density configs.
When you are very close in numbers there are always some small elements - for example a320/321 with v2500 will be heavier than with cfm56. Around seats options now there is a titanium frame bench which is twice lighter than typical triple seat block. There are a320 with only 2 toilets iso normal 3.

Widebodies are always heavier per seat.
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Old 14th Dec 2014, 18:29
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A lot depends on specific configuration. For example we have two different configurations of A332s in our fleet, one is configured in an all economy style with 340 seats and weighs 121.993kgs empty which comes out at 359kg and the other one has 19 business and 279 economy seats with an DOM of 122.232kg which equates to 410kgs per seat. Same basic aircraft, different weight. The difference between our 180 seat A320s and our 12/132 seat A320s might be even bigger, but i'm too lazy to look up the numbers.

Just for comparison: Dash 8 Q400, 76 seats, 18.472kg DOM, 243kg/seat.
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