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Chapter - 3

Chord: Distance between leading and trailing edges.
Chord Line: A straight line joining the leading and trailing
edges of an aerofoil.
Mean Camber line. Line joining the leading and trailing edges
of an aerofoil which is equidistant from the upper and lower
(A symmetrical aerofoil has no camber)
Thickness/Chord Ratio. The ratio of maximum thickness to
Mean Chord, expressed in percentage of the chord.
Angle of Attack (). The angle between the chord line and
the relative airflow/relative wind/free stream flow.

Angle of Incidence. The angle between the chord line and

the horizontal datum of the aircraft.
(This angle is fixed for the wing).
Relative Air Flow. Airflow that is parallel to the Flight
Path but in the opposite direction.
It is close to the airplane but its velocity, pressure &
temperature are not affected by the presence of the
airplane. Its magnitude is the TAS.
Center of Pressure (CP). The point on the chord line
through which all the Total Reaction acts.
(Lift is a component of Total Reaction)
Total Reaction. The resultant of all aerodynamic forces
acting on an aerofoil.
It acts through the center of pressure.

The difference of curvature between the top and

bottom surfaces of the aerofoil with the upper
surface having a larger curvature causes the
airflow to travel a longer distance than the lower
surface. To reach the trailing edge of the aerofoil at
the same time, the airflow over the aerofoil
accelerates causing a drop in pressure as
compared to the lower surface. The net result
causes pressure difference between the top &
the bottom surface which results in an upward
force (Total Reaction) and its vertical
component is called LIFT.
- The major component of lift is generated by the
negative pressure on top of the aerofoil.


= CL vs


= CD vs

Pitching Moment = Cm vs c
In aerofoils s is the plan area
c is the chord length

LIFT vs. A of A
Lift increases as the A of A increases
As the A of A increases the Center of
Pressure moves forward on top surface
Separation Point also moves forward with
increase of A of A on the top surface
Eventually lift curve reaches maximum
value at the stalling A of A i.e. 16
Lift falls suddenly with any further
increase in A of A due to forward travel
of separation point

Lift from
Symmetrical Aerofoil
Lift only starts above 0 angle of attack

Parasite Drag: Caused by non-lift generating

surfaces and body parts.
Form Drag (Pressure Drag): Caused due to
shape and size of the aircraft and its parts.
Skin Friction Drag: Caused due to frictional
losses between viscous moving air and the
aircraft surface. (i.e. smooth surface will
produce less Skin Friction Drag).
Profile Drag: Skin Friction and Form Drag
are together known as PROFILE DRAG

Interference Drag:

Caused due to
boundary layer
interference at
wing/engine, and
other junctions.

Induced Drag:

Caused due to lift


Aerofoil Lift Moment and Aerodynamic Center

Aerodynamic Centre: AC is a fixed point on the aerofoil where
the value of lift induced pitch moment remains constant at
Normal Angles of Attack (o-16).


High Maximum Lift Coefficient
Good Lift/Drag Ratio
High Maximum Value of CL3/2/CD
Low Minimum Drag Coefficient
Small and Stable Movement of
Centre of Pressure
Sufficient Depth

CL _ It is the ratio between lift per unit wing area and the dynamic
CL - Is determined experimentally for an aerofoil.
CL Depends upon body shape, angle of attack and IAS.
CL Is a measure that indicates how efficiently the wing transforms
dynamic pressure into lift.
CL Increases with increase in Angle of Attack
CL (max) Maximum value of CL is reached at about 16 Angle of Attack.
CL Reduces significantly above 16 A of A, indicating a Stall.

Important : High lift devices increase the camber of the wing, thereby
increasing the CL.