Digital Scale Systems from
Intercomp Weighing Systems
Intercomp offers a high quality weighing systems. Most of the systems sold so far have been purchased by individuals and groups who have made them available (for a small fee) to their local aviation communities. Details, photos and pricing are available below.
It always seems difficult to round up scales for weighing gliders and airplanes. It is my opinion that many gliders and airplanes have not been weighed in a very long time, mainly because it is difficult to arrange for the availability of scales. Since gliders and aircraft tend to pickup weight over time and it tends to make them more tail heavy, it can be a real safety concern.
I've done some research into digital scale systems. Sailplanes in particular have some unique requirements for weighing systems. The total weight can be quite high with water ballast, yet the tailwheel can be quite light and must be weighed accurately to assure that the weight and balance is correct. It was difficult to find a system that offers the capacity and accuracy required, but I have found a fantastic solution. It consists of a digital weighing system from Intercomp. The system comes with scale pads that are only 2.25 inches tall. Each platform is 15" x 15" x 2.25". They are connected wirelessly to a display terminal which can display the total weight as well as the weight on every individual pad. The display comes with a case. Ramps can also be purchased as a set - making it easy to roll gliders and towplanes up onto the pads. Each pad can measure up to 1500 lb. The resolution of the display is 1 lb and the systems are certified to an accuracy of 0.1%.
Why 4 scale pads?
Most sailplanes can be weighed using only 2 pads - so why does the SW650RFX system include 4 pads? There are two reasons. First, many customers would like to use the system to weigh their towplane as well as their sailplane - which would require three pads. Second, some two-seat open-class gliders and motorgliders weigh more than 1,500 lbs and would require that two pads be used to weigh the main gear. The other reason is that the system was designed for weighing race cars.
Annual calibration is required and can be performed at the factory in Minneapolis, Minnesota or at a scale distributor in your area. Annual calibration for my SW650RFX system cost about $100 in 2013 at a local scale distributor.
I have an Intercomp SW650RFX scale system available for rental to MN aircraft owners and commercial operators. You can see details here: http://www.cumulus-soaring.com/soarmn/gliderscales.htm