# Basic Aerodynamics & Theory of Flight

The Airfoil

Angle of Attack

The angle of attack is the angle between the chord line and the average relative wind. Greater angle of attack creates more lift (up to a point).

Three Axes of Movement Three Axes of Movement
Vertical (Vertical Axis) Axis of YawAxis

Longitudinal Axis

Axis of Roll (Longitudinal Axis) Lateral Axis

Axis of Pitch (Lateral Axis)

Control around the Longitudinal Axis
Control around the Longitudinal Axis

The Ailerons control movement on the lateral axis called “rolling”. The Ailerons control movement on the lateral axis called “rolling”.

Control around the Vertical Axis Control around the Vertical Axis
Rudder – The rudder controls the

movement around vertical axis Rudder – The rudder controls the called “yawing”.
movement around vertical axis

called “yawing”.

Moving rudder to the right forces tail to the left, nose to the right

Moving rudder to the left forces tail to the right, nose to the left.

Moving rudder to the right forces tail to the left, nose to the right

Moving rudder to the left forces tail to the right, nose to the left.

Control around the Lateral Axis Control around the Lateral Axis

Elevators are used to control Elevators are used to control movement about the lateral axis movement about the lateral axis
called “pitching” called “pitching”

Four Forces of Flight
LIFT

THRUST WEIGHT

DRAG

Lift is the upwards force created by the interaction between the wings and the • Lift
airflow. • Lift Formula: L=½ ρ V2A CL

LIFT

Lift – Basic Concepts

• According to Newton’s Laws, “Lift is the reaction that results from the action of forcing air downward by the airfoil” (Jeppesen) • NASA has established through experimentation that pressure on lower surface of wing is higher than upper surface (hence pressure difference exists) • Lift results from the higher pressure below the wing’s surface and lower pressure above the wing’s surface. • Lift acts perpendicular to the relative wind.

Lift – Basic Concepts

• Relative Wind or Airflow: Relative wind is opposite to the flight path of the airplane. • Lift, drag, thrust depend on relative wind. • Angle between chord line of wing and the relative wind is AoA. • Higher the AoA, more will be the lift produced (up to about 16 degrees). • Any thing that changes the profile (shape) of airfoil – such as snow, ice, dents, etc. WILL disrupt the airflow and cause LOSS OF LIFT.

Lift – Equation

• Important Factors • To increase lift, one or more of the four factors must be increased. • Lift is proportional to square of velocity, so increasing velocity two times will increase lift four times (provided other factors remain constant). • Coefficient of lift increases with the angle of attack. • As air density increases, the lift also increases. • To generate the same amount of lift at high altitude, • Aircraft must be flown at higher angle of attack or higher airspeed. • More concern is what decreases lift? As it is important to know which factors can cause negative effect on aircraft performance.

Controlling Lift
• Four main ways commonly used: • Most common is to vary the angle of attack. Advantage of this method is it also lets you control airspeed and drag (to an extent) Increase Angle of Attack = More Lift generated (to a point) At a certain angle, airflow begins to separate, this is called CLMAX at this point STALL occurs. • The angle at which a wing stalls remains constant regardless of weight, airspeed, bank angle, or pitch attitude. • Stall speed depend son a number of other factors, such as, G-loading, weight, center of gravity location, etc. Above certain limits can cause damage.

Controlling Lift
• • • • Another way is through certain wing design features called “High Lift Devices” Most common of these is “trailing edge flap”. It increases both lift and drag. Flaps increase lift and reduce the stall speed allowing the wings to produce the same lift at lower airpseed. • Leading edge devices can also be used, include fixed “slots”, slats (portion of leading edge which move forward and down), and leading edge flaps.

Trailing Edge Devices