The diameter of a standard ping pong ball is 40mm (1.5 inches) and they weigh 2g (0.07 ounces). With those measurements, we can do some calculations to answer this question. There are about 546 ping pong balls per cubic foot; thus, the inside space of a 747 holds about 1 Million Ping Pong Balls. To match the number of ping-pong balls in one cubic meter, you would need around 18 billion ping-pong balls…
It’s hard to imagine so many small round things fitting into such a large space. But we can give you an idea by illustrating how it works with objects that might be more familiar. For example, if you have a ping pong ball that’s the same size as orange, then one 747 could hold about 500 million oranges! Or put another way, if you were to count them at 100 per minute it would take more than 3 months to get to 18 billion.
Calculation Of Ping Pong Balls
The number of ping-pong balls is calculated using the volume of a single ping-pong ball. There is no reliable source for the exact number. The closest would be, which states that it is 0.3181 cubic cm or 2π(25.4cm)^3, where 25.4cm is the diameter of a ping pong ball (in cm).
1 ping-pong ball = 1 x Pi x r^2, where r = 0.145 m, which means 1 ping-pong ball has a volume of .0002908m^3 or .0001618m water
To convert this into cubic feet we divide by 7056 to get 538 cubic ft., then multiple by 5280 ft/mile to get 312,768 cubic miles.
The volume of the plane is about 4,532,149 cubic feet (5344 ft). The 747s used by South African Airways can hold 24 standard pallets per flight. Sixteen pallets are in the front of the plane and eight in the rear. Each standard pallet is 96 inches long by 96 inches wide and 80 inches high (841/3 cubic feet or 567 liters). So one plane has room for 19,712 pallets or 1,129,408,000 pieces of cargo which weighs 688,368 million pounds.
Taking into account that each piece of cargo is between 70-100 lbs, we get a total weight of 5,188 million pounds.
Divided by 7000 (the atomic weight of the elements in iron) gives us 5,225,714 kg for one plane or 1,246,668 tons.
To calculate how many balls you could fit in an airplane:
we divide by 7044 to get 5419 ft., then multiple by 5280 ft/mile to get 312,941 cubic miles.
The volume of the plane is about 4.531 million cubic feet (5344 ft). A regulation ping-pong ball is 39 mm in diameter and weighs about 0.1 ounces (2 grams), so it takes 470 billion ping pong balls to weigh 2 million tons. That means 4.69 trillion ping pong balls will fit in a 747-400 airplane.
The average weight of cargo on each flight is 5188 pounds (2,300 kilograms). The atomic weight of iron is 7000 pounds (3175 kilograms). So we take the amount of cargo and divide it by the atomic weight, giving us 5,225,714 kg for one plane or 1,246,668 tons. We then divide this by 7044 to get 5419 ft., and multiply that by 5280 ft/mile to get 312,941 cubic miles. The volume of an average Boeing 747-400 is about 4.531 million cubic feet (5344 ft), so we can use that as our starting point.
It turns out that a ping pong ball is 2.99375 in, and since we know the volume of a 747-400 to be 4.531 million cubic feet, we can get the total surface area of one plane by multiplying that by itself (4.531 * 4.531 = 221339). We can then multiply that by the average surface area of a ping pong ball (.08 in) to get 184,919,977 in^2.
We must now convert in^2 to something we can use… cubic feet! We know there are 1728 in^2 per ft., so we divide 184,919,977 by 1728 to find that our 747-400 has roughly 12.12 million ping pong balls worth of surface area! And if you’re wondering how many ping pong balls it would take up all of the space inside a 747? It would have room for just over 995 million spheres!!