A friend of mine posted this photo from some snarky Facebook page called “No Hope For The Human Race.”
Now, the image implies that if a 747 can carry a Space Shuttle, then it must be able to cary a full load of passengers and their standard and extra luggage because that thing looks HEAVY!!!!
Well, that’s a testable hypothesis
The Mass of an un-laiden Space Shuttle about 75,000 KG (165,000 pounds) Let’s compare that to a rough estimation of the mass of passengers and baggage of a fully loaded Boeing 747-400ER.
- Passenger Capacity: 660
- Average Body Mass of American: 88.6Kg (Male) 77.2 (Female)
- Checked Bag Mass: 32 Kg (70 lbs) (United’s maximum for up to three bags)
- Cary-on Bag Mass: 7Kg According to [Travel.USAToday]
So let’s say the plane is full of women (to account for the presence of a few kids) with the full 32Kgs of checked luggage and 7Kg cary-on. That gives a total mass per passenger of 116.2 Kg. Which gives a total passenger and baggage load of 84,216 Kg (186,000 #). Or 9,216 Kg more mass than the Space Shuttle. So there you go. I’m calling BS on people Calling BS on United…
As Redditor Shawnz points out, I used the male number for the total per passenger mass.
The author apparently
messed up his units somewhereassumed 100% male passengers, because the actual result of that calculation is a much less dramatic 76,692kg. [Reddit]
For all female, it would be
- 116.2 KG per passenger
- 76,692 KG total
- 1,692 KG more than the Space Shuttle.
But it doesn’t matter, because nobody is talking about maximum capacity here — the extra fees required are due to extra fuel required (in theory). [Reddit]
United Airlines charges $25 for a 50# bag. They charge $35 for a second bag. Assuming your one bag was the Space Shuttle, and the charge per kilogram is $0.454 then it would only cost you $15,800 to take the space shuttle from LA to NYC. That actually seems like a pretty good deal.
- Wikipedia: Body Weight by Country
- United Airlines
- No Hope For The Human Race