75th International Conference on Mass Properties Engineering

Training Program

75th SAWE International Conference
on Mass Properties Engineering
May 21-26, 2016
Denver, Colorado, USA


Jerry Pierson
Vice President – Training
Kristian Mayville
Conference Training Coordinator
Sierra Nevada Corporation 
Errol R. Oguzhan
Deputy VP – On-Site Training
Lockheed Martin


The Society of Allied Weight Engineers Training committee invites you to the 75th Annual International Conference on Mass Properties in Denver, Colorado, and is pleased to offer you these classes for your professional development. These classes are offered to expand your expertise as a Mass Properties Engineer (MPE), and we hope that many of you will register for classes in fields outside of your area of expertise or industry to broaden and expand your technical capabilities. We hope that after taking these classes you will emerge more knowledgeable and learn how special the discipline of weight engineering is across the multiple industries. This year, the Training Program will take place at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center from May 21-25, 2016. The SAWE has a long proven track record of delivering outstanding training and we hope you will enjoy training with us here in Denver, Colorado. 

Day Date Class Title
Saturday 5/21 Introduction to Mass Properties Measurement
Introduction to Aircraft Weight Engineering - Chapters 1-5 - Canceled
Sunday 5/22 Advanced Mass Properties Measurement
Introduction to Aircraft Weight Engineering - Chapters 6-14 - Canceled
Monday 5/23 Aircraft Weight and Balance - Day One
Aircraft Fuel Calibration - Canceled
Tuesday 5/24 Aircraft Weight and Balance - Day Two
Wednesday 5/25 Basic Mass Properties Measurement
Automated Weight and Balance System (AWBS)


All training class attendees will receive a course completion certificate with the appropriate Professional Development Hours (PDH). This is being done in order to assist trainees in meeting any necessary professional development requirements that they must meet.



Introduction to Mass Properties Measurement
Wayne Clay –SAWE Member - Lockheed Martin Missile and Fire Control

This is a basic class which teaches measurement of weight, center-of-gravity, and moments of inertia (MOI). Effects of gravity variation due to latitude and altitude will be explained. This class will demonstrate and teach moment of inertia measuring techniques typically used for missiles and control surfaces. The Mass Properties Measurement class will contain both a classroom presentation and a laboratory session. The class will consist of approximately three hours of lecture and five hours of hands-on laboratory session with participants making mass properties measurements.

The classroom discussion will include mass definition and mass measurement techniques. Force measurement methods such as spring scales, load cells, strain gauges, and rebalance technology will be discussed. The MOI definition and its relationship to torque and angular acceleration and measurement techniques will be included. The definition of Product of Inertia (POI) will be discussed and how it relates to Principle Axes definition, measurement, and calculation techniques. Laboratory exercises will include mass measurement, center-of-gravity measurement, MOI measurement using a torsion rod and the bifilar method. POI measurement/calculation and principle axis measurement/calculation will be taught.

It is the intent of this class to provide the student with an understanding of the methods for measuring moment of inertia. The class will conclude with the taking of a test to verify that the class has provided the students with the basic understanding of how to measure moment of inertia of a missile or a control surface.

Basic calculators will be needed for examples and exercises. Please dress appropriately for working with measuring equipment.



Advanced Mass Properties Measurement
Paul Kennedy, SAWE Fellow, Space Electronics

This class will provide training in the measurement of moment of inertia, center of gravity, and product of inertia, with emphasis on the various measurement methods used in industry and the pitfalls that can result in measurement errors. This class begins with a review of the basic principles of mass properties measurement, including weight, CG, and MOI. Students will make actual measurements of all three mass properties using state of the art equipment. It will also demonstrate the process of measuring POI by making three moment of inertia measurements with the test item oriented in different positions, rather than by spinning the object; and review the process of calculating POI.

Advanced topics include:

  • Defining scope and Reporting without confusing
  • Error sources and Measurement uncertainties
  • POI’s relationship to MOI
  • Fixturing tips, tricks, and traps
  • Specialized applications (time permitting)

It is the intent to acquire and use modern measurement equipment for demonstration. Equipment availability will be determined at a later date.

Who Should Attend?

Anyone who has interest in mass properties measurement and who already has a basic level of understanding of mass properties. It is recommended that you attend the “Mass Properties Measurement” training course prior to attending this course.



Aircraft Weight & Balance Course
Tom Oole, SAWE Honorary Fellow, United States Air Force – Retired

This two-day course assumes a basic knowledge of weight and balance. The class will demonstrate and teach proper procedures for weighing and completing forms for military aircraft. The intent of this class is to provide the student with an understanding of the weight and balance system within the United States Air Force and “pitfalls” involved in weighing aircraft. Students should bring basic calculators, paper, and pens/pencils for use in examples and exercises. Students should also dress appropriately for the trip to the aircraft hangar. Wear rubber-soled, closed-toed shoes.



Automated Weight and Balance System (AWBS) Software Training
Harold Smoot, SAWE Member, Lockheed Martin

This one day class will present all the features of AWBS Version 10.0.4135 CPIN REV 010, including AWBS Form F of the US Air Force’s Automated Weight and Balance Software in a hands-on training class. Students will receive a complete overview of the software features to support weight control programs for military aircraft. Students are required to bring a laptop computer running at a minimum Windows 7. Apple computers are not supported. For US Citizens, a demo version of AWBS 10.0 will be provided on DVD. Your computer must either have a DVD drive or allow a USB stick. Non US Citizens should come with AWBS REV 010 previously installed or contact the instructor in advance at Harold.R.Smoot@LMCO.com.

The basic approach of the course is to give computer demonstrations followed by student exercises that will provide the students with a good understanding of the following AWBS features and functions:

  • Software Installation/Setup
  • New AWBS Database (No Data) 
  • Assign Personnel 
  • Working Aircraft
  • Multiple Databases 
  • Database Utilities 
  • Backup/Restore 
  • Repair/Compact 
  • Merge
  • Assign Personnel 
  • Assignment/Relieve
  • Master Chart A Editor 
  • Scheduler and Intervals 
  • Sorting/Highlighting/Printing of Scheduler 
  • Adding/Editing/Deleting of Intervals
  • Working Aircraft
  • Opening
  • Create/Delete
  • Exporting/Importing
  • Send Feature
  • Modification Wizard



Introduction to Aircraft Weight Engineering -  Canceled
Dell Ruff, SAWE Member, Gulfstream

This two-day course covers approximately the first half of the SAWE textbook titled “Introduction to Aircraft Weight Engineering.” It is the intent to teach the second half of the textbook during two-days in May 2017 in Montreal. This class will give students a very complete overview of aircraft weight engineering. This class is strongly recommended for students wishing to have a more complete understanding of all aspects of aircraft weight engineering.



Aircraft Fuel Calibration - Canceled
Steve Cook, L-3 Test Engineer

This class will cover the basic fuel usage process; including fuel quantity per tank measurement, fuel gauge calibration, usable and unusable fuel, and all aspects of fuel usage determined on the ground. As a former T-38 flight instructor for over five years, Steve will discuss the aspects of fuel usage such as tank transfer when in flight. Steve recently completed a fuel system operation and development both on the ground and in the air for a new aircraft fuel system. Some hands on non-flammable liquid density measurements representative of fuel density measurements will be part of the class.



Basic Mass Properties Measurement
Jerry Pierson, SAWE Honorary Fellow, Retired

This half-day session will feature weight and balance topics and is intended to be mostly a hands on class demonstrating basic mass properties measurements. This class is geared for new engineers who have never:

  • Measured density of solids and liquids
  • Measured center of gravity of vehicles
  • Measured moments of inertia
  • Measured ship center of gravity and had stability explained
  • Spin balancing will be demonstrated if spin balance equipment is available

Other class instructors will help out in this class with their unique discipline measurements.