How Many Golf Balls Fit In A 747?

The seemingly impossible task of determining how many golf balls can fit inside a Boeing 747 has captivated the imagination of many curious minds. While the question may appear shallow, it is an intriguing exercise in estimation and mathematical reasoning. By exploring the aircraft’s dimensions, the size of a golf ball, and employing some creative thinking, we embark on an intellectual journey that demonstrates the intricacies of problem-solving.

We are doing calculations by assuming certain things. We have considered filling only the useable volume inside the aircraft, keeping cockpits and engines out of our analysis. By doing the creative process and mathematics side by side, we have determined that 11,043,314 golf balls fill in Boeing 747 when packing efficiency is 0.59 and 13,850,937 golf balls fill in aircraft when packing efficiency is 0.74. Keep reading the article to know how we have calculated these figures.

How Many Golf Balls Fit In A 747?

Assumptions before Calculations

  • We are using the most used model of aircraft 747, in our calculation.
  • We have excluded Some compartments of Boeing 747 from our calculations. For example, the cockpit and engines are not a part of the figures calculated below.
  • Moreover, we assume that no changes have been made to the aircraft, seating arrangements, baggage aisle, and all compartments are intact.
  • Also, we are using the same size balls, so the volume of balls remains the same. Furthermore, no ball is cut from between, so the answer is a whole number.

Steps to Find the Number of Golf Balls that Fit in A 747

1. The Dimensions of a Boeing 747

To comprehend the vastness of a Boeing 747, we must first understand its dimensions. The most common variant, the Boeing 747-400, has a length of approximately 231 feet, a wingspan of around 211 feet, and a height of about 63 feet. These dimensions provide a solid foundation for our estimation.

2. Golf Ball Size

A standard golf ball has a diameter of approximately 1.68 inches or 0.14 feet. With this information, we can start to visualize the scale of the challenge at hand. Do you know How Big Is A Golf Ball In Centimeters?

3. Filling the Empty Space

The interior of a Boeing 747 is not entirely hollow but comprises various components, including seats, aisles, restrooms, storage areas, and more. Thus, we must determine how much available space can be utilized.

4. Estimating the Useable Space

First, we will consider the usable volume of 747 cabins to simplify the estimation process. The main deck of the 747 has a volume of 21,645 cubic feet. Moreover, the lower cabins have a volume of 4,061 cubic feet. The bulk volume is 520 cubic feet

By adding the above volumes, the total calculated space in 747 equals 26,766 cubic feet

5. Finding the Volume Occupied by a Golf Ball

To calculate the volume occupied by a single golf ball, we can use the formula for the volume of a sphere: V = (4/3)πr³. Considering the radius of a golf ball is half of its diameter or 0.07 feet, we can find its volume.

By putting values in the formula, the calculated volume of a golf ball is 0.00143 cubic feet

6. Packing efficiency

It is essential to consider that spheres do not stack perfectly. Gaps will inevitably form, reducing the total number of golf balls. As we know, golf balls are spheres in size, so they have some packing efficiency. If you consider that golf balls are neatly stacked inside an airplane, the packing coefficient is 0.74. However, balls are more likely randomly fitted inside the available space, reducing packing efficiency to 0.59.

7. Calculating the Number of Golf Balls

By dividing the 747 total useable volume by the volume of a golf ball into packing efficiency, we can determine the approximate number of golf balls that can fit inside. 

The number of golf balls = (747 total useable volume/ volume of a golf ball) X Packing efficiency.

747 total useable volume= 26,766 cubic feet

The volume of one golf ball= 0.00143 cubic feet


Packing efficiency = 0.59

Total number of golf balls= 11,043,314 golf balls


Packing efficiency = 0.74

Total number of golf balls= 13,850,937 golf balls

Note that we are excluding cockpits and fuel tanks in our calculations. If we add the volume of these areas, our answers will vary, and you have to calculate them on your own by using the above methods.

Considering the Limitations

Our estimation assumes a perfect packing scenario without accounting for irregularities, such as non-rectangular cargo hold shapes or the need for access space. These limitations emphasize that our estimation is a theoretical exercise rather than an exact calculation.


The question of how many golf balls can fit in a Boeing 747 has been solved, and by certain assumptions, it has been calculated that 11,043,314 golf balls fill in Boeing 747 when packing efficiency is 0.59 and 13,850,937 golf balls fill in aircraft when packing efficiency is 0.74. Moreover, this exercise provides an opportunity to develop problem-solving skills, employ mathematical reasoning, and exercise creative thinking. By breaking down the problem into manageable components and considering the constraints, we can engage in a thought-provoking exploration of quantity and spatial awareness. Ultimately, this exercise teaches us that estimations and approximations play a crucial role in problem-solving, challenging us to think beyond the bounds of conventional wisdom.

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