re: airplane structural terms

Date:         13 Feb 99 02:25:47 
From:         Scott Jacobson <75706.2201@compuserve.com>
References:   1
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STA:  This refers to fuselage station measurements.  Fuselage stations is a
measurement in inches (for Boeings anyway,  might be metric for Airbus)
from a zero point (usually near the nose).  Commonly used to detemine
weight & balance for an aircraft, or to tell a loader where to place a
given piece of cargo, etc.

MAC: Mean Aerodynamic Chord.  As you know, for an ordinary aircraft to fly
the center of balance must be between the leading
and trailing edges, otherwise the plane will be out of balance and fall on
it's nose or tail.  Easy enough to measure on a straight wing where the
leading & trailing edges are parallel.  But on a swept wing airplane it's a
different story!!  So MAC weight & balance formulas are developed for each
type of aircraft and give you a balance point as a percentage of the mean
chord of the wing.

Scott