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Pink Panther

Active member
Dec 2, 2001
Say you fly a load of chickens, say during take off those chickens start to fly, do you maintain your original gross weight?

Probally this question has been asked before, but I couldn't find it.


Even though they are in flight, they are using the air within your cabin to fly. Since you are carrying the air in the cabin when you fly, then you are carrying everything within the air as well.

are you saying the chickens exert a downforce on the cabin to fly? If so then where is the energy expended by the chicken being directed?
If I walk into the back, wring the neck of one chicken, pluck the carcass, and throw him in the microwave...then eat him...does the gross weight change? I'm wondering if the conservation of energy applies here.
jetdriven said:
are you saying the chickens exert a downforce on the cabin to fly? If so then where is the energy expended by the chicken being directed?

errrr yes and no. Yes, the inital chicken liftoff would probably exert a downward force on the cabin which would temporarily cause an increase in aircraft weight. However that was not my original point.

My first point is this, when you fly an aircraft you are carrying the weight of air within then cabin as well. That air onboard has a weight that the aircraft feels. Back in high school science or chemistry class your lab teach probably had you weigh a flask that was open, and one that was evacuated. The open one weighed more. The same principle is in effect here.

When the chickens take flight they become part of the air mass. Therefore that means the airmass not only has its original weight, but that of the chickens. Now, this assumes that the chickens are simply floating in that airmass like a balloon. I guess you could get them to do this by pumping them full of Helium but they might explode, and that would suck.

In reality they need to flap their wings to stay aloft. This flapping forces some air downward which will strike the cabin floor and cause an increase in the weight (not mass) of the aircraft.

Of course the sharpie that I have been using for the last hour could be messing with my mind but I beleive I am correct (even if my reasoning is flawed). Afterall, if this were the case cargo companies would put all their stuff on little "hover palets" so that they could load more stuff on each flight. :)

Basically, there is no such thing as a free ride. Its the old every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

I am not very smart, but...I have always thought that chickens can't fly. Doe's that matter????:confused:
They can fly short distances; kinda like the Wright Flyer. It helps if they're perched atop a bucket or some other such object. Of course, we then wonder how the chicken got up there.

If Albie eats one of the chickens then I guess the trim moves forward a little. My computer doesn't have all the space-age advanced math symbols I'd need to illustrate that point. Of course, assuming there is another pilot, he/she would have to trim to keep up with Albie's journey through the cabin. Heaven forbid Albie might have to chase the chicken back and forth.

Next time on the Highway you see an 18-wheeler shedding chicken feathers, safely pull up alongside it, as long as it's a four-lane road, and check out the cages. They are equipped with compartments that hold just one or two chickens and thus prevent movement. The reason is that when chickens are frightened they will rush to one side of their area, smothering most of the other chickens. This eats into profits. Management, money-grubbing devils they are, has the afore-mentioned cages installed to prevent such catastrophes. You can rest assured, should you really haul a load of chickens some such restraint will be in the aircraft to prevent a premature mass death.

Has anyone here really hauled chickens in an airplane?? Is there any part of the country, unfit for the raising of these birds, that routinely has chickens flown in??

P.S. Does the CG change when Albie cooks his chicken. If he overcooks it, I have no clue as to his culinary skills, will the escaping steam change the air density in the cabin??
Chicken Haulin...

Back when I was flying freight, we had a run that went from Reno to Oakland twice a night on a Postal sub-contract for Evergreen.

The second return trip to Reno, once or twice a week, would be a full load (Metroliner III) of live baby chicks. They were pretty cute and I would sometimes peer in the boxes at them, and felt sorry for the little buggers having to ride as pax in a Metro. Anyway, one night I got curious enough to ask where all these thousands of baby chicks were going. As it turns out, there is a Huge reptile and exotic farms outside Carson City, and these little suckers were dinner for all the snakes and lizards and what not. After that I felt pretty bad. Like I said the were pretty cute.

Of course all that was pre-9/11. Now the poor pilot has to worry about those chicks hijacking the airplane and taking them somewhere where they won't be lunch. Not to mention the host of W/B issues, and aerodynamic considerations brought to light by this thread in regard to the dangers of carrying THAT MANY potentially a/c upsetting little chicks in the back. What with all that potential kinetic energy pent up back there looking for a way to escape their terrible fate...:(
Sher'ff-you didn't see "Chicken Run" ? This is also covered in Barry Schiff's "The Proficient Pilot" (no chicken recipes,tho).
How about hauling a load of helium filled balloons? Also, what happens to the balloons when you land and begin slowing the plane? Assuming they're not in individual cages and free to move around the cabin somewhat.

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