View Question
 Question
 Subject: Mathematics Category: Science > Math Asked by: jobbie-ga List Price: \$10.00 Posted: 26 Aug 2002 20:19 PDT Expires: 25 Sep 2002 20:19 PDT Question ID: 58891
 ```How many ping pong balls could be placed in the total internal volume of a 747 airplane?```
 Subject: Re: Mathematics Answered By: mwalcoff-ga on 26 Aug 2002 21:00 PDT Rated:
 ```According to Boeing, a 747-200 or 747-300 has a carrying volume of 26,600 cubic feet (http://www.boeing.com/news/releases/2000/news_release_000531a.html). A 747-400 has a passenger interior volume of 31,295 cubic feet (http://www.boeing.com/commercial/747family/pf/pf_facts.html). A ping pong ball is 3.77 cm, or 1.48 inches, in diameter, according to (http://www.avalanche.org/~issw/96/art5702.html). We'll conceptualize each ping pong ball as a cube of 1.48"x1.48"x1.48", or 0.001876 cubic feet, to account for the empty space between the spherical balls. I used (http://www.onlineconversion.com/volume.htm) to convert cubic inches to cubic feet; there are 1,728 cubic inches in a cubic foot. Divide 26,600 by 0.001876, and you get 14,179,104 ping pong balls that could fit in a 747-200 or 747-300. Since the 26,600 cubic feet number probably does not include the cockpit, I looked up the cockpit's size. According to (http://www.747cockpit.com/outside_shell.htm) -- yes, there is a Web page for everything -- a 747's cockpit is about 14'x15'x8', or 1,680 cubic feet. That's another 895,522 ping pong balls. Add 14,179,104 and 895,522 and you get 15,074,626 ping pong balls in a 747. I hope this answer meets your needs. Please do not hesitate to request clarification if needed. Search strategy: 747 airplane cubic feet ://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&q=747+airplane+cubic+feet ping pong ball diameter ://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&q=ping+pong+ball+diameter conversions ://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&q=conversions 747 cockpit dimensions ://www.google.com/search?q=747+cockpit+dimensions&hl=en&lr=&ie=ISO-8859-1&safe=off``` Request for Answer Clarification by jobbie-ga on 26 Aug 2002 21:27 PDT ```Dear Expert, I am a first time user of this service and am amazed at the speed in which you addressed my question. I thank you for this pleasant "first time" experience. I am looking for the total volume of a Boeing 747 for total internal volume. I guess if you took out the seats, navigating equipment and just focused on the total internal volume it would not longer be a Boeing 747. Or is there a simple answer to finding total internal volume of a 747? Again thank you for the research that you have already done. Respectfully, Jobbie-ga``` Clarification of Answer by mwalcoff-ga on 26 Aug 2002 22:56 PDT ```Thank you for the compliment on the answer. I suppose the answer to your follow-up question depends on what exactly you are thinking of. The figure of 26,600 cubic feet refers to a 747 designed for transporting cargo. Thus, it would be pretty empty except for the cockpit and equipment. The figure would not include parts of the plane irrelevant to cargo transportation, such as the wings, engines, etc. The 31,295 cubic feet figure for the 747-400 refers to the size of the passenger interior. I guess you would have to take out the seats and storage bins to reach that volume figure. If you want to know how many ping pong balls could fit into the plane without taking out any of the seats or bins, I don't know quite how to figure that out. Sorry.```
 jobbie-ga rated this answer: ```I am certain that my list price had something to do with the timely response to my question. This was a valuable "first time" experience for me. With enthusiasm I give this researcher 5 stars. Jobbie-ga```

 ```You might want to look at this prior answer. It suggests a correction factor to get the maximum packing: (packing density)*(Cube volume)/(Sphere volume) = pi/(3*sqrt(2)) * (d^3) / (4/3*pi*(d/2)^3) = sqrt(2) = 1.414213562... So 21,318,740 would be the adjusted figure. But that number is too high because that packing density assumes it is surrounded by other ping pong balls. It would be less efficeint in contact with flat surfaces. I can't do that calculation. https://answers.google.com/answers/main?cmd=threadview&id=45574 Thank you for making Google Answers your airline of choice. So where are you flying all these ping pong balls? :-)```
 ```That's a good point. I was assuming we were stacking the balls as such: o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o But you could more efficiently stack them like this: o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o```
 ```If crushing is llowed you could probably stack them like this (((((((((((((((((( :):):):)```