I think this is very fundamental question.
I am wondering why 0.00259 is used as weight-mass conversion ratio, when inch/pound unit is used in Nastran.
Could anyone explain the reasons?
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It's the inverse of the acceleration of gravity g in imperial units. $$ 1 g = 386.1 in/s^2 $$
$$ 1/g = 0.00259 s^2/in $$
You need that since:
$$ weight = mass * g $$