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The distance between a wing root and wing tip is called the wing span. The ratio of wing span to chord is called the aspect ratio.
 
The distance between a wing root and wing tip is called the wing span. The ratio of wing span to chord is called the aspect ratio.
  
The amount of lift and drag generated by an aerofoil depends on its shape ([[Camber|camber]]), surface, [[Angle of Attack|angle of attack]], air density and speed through the air.
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The amount of lift and drag generated by an aerofoil depends on its shape ([[Camber|camber]]), surface area, [[Angle of Attack|angle of attack]], air density and speed through the air.
  
 
The objective of aerofoil design is to achieve the best compromise between lift and drag for the [[Flight Envelope|flight envelope]] in which it is intended to operate.
 
The objective of aerofoil design is to achieve the best compromise between lift and drag for the [[Flight Envelope|flight envelope]] in which it is intended to operate.

Revision as of 20:25, 1 August 2013

Article Information
Category: Theory of Flight Theory of Flight
Content source: SKYbrary About SKYbrary
Content control: EUROCONTROL EUROCONTROL


Aerofoil or Airfoil

Definition

A body shaped to produce an aerodynamic reaction (lift) perpendicular to its direction of motion, for a small resistance (drag) force in that plane.

Description

Figure 1 illustrates a typical aerofoil cross-section for low-speed flight.

Aerofoil1.jpg

Figure 1.

The airflow over the wing increases its speed causing a reduction in pressure; this generates a force (lift) perpendicular to the chord of the aerofoil. The airflow below the wing moves much more slowly generating greater pressure and less or negative lift.

All aerofoil surfaces generate drag.

Figure 2 illustrates the terms used in describing an aerofoil surface.

Aerofoil2.jpg

Figure 2.

The distance between a wing root and wing tip is called the wing span. The ratio of wing span to chord is called the aspect ratio.

The amount of lift and drag generated by an aerofoil depends on its shape (camber), surface area, angle of attack, air density and speed through the air.

The objective of aerofoil design is to achieve the best compromise between lift and drag for the flight envelope in which it is intended to operate.

Aerofoil surfaces includes wings, tailplanes, fins, winglets, propeller blades and helicopter rotor blades. Control surfaces (e.g. ailerons, elevators and rudders) are shaped to contribute to the overall aerofoil section of the wing or empennage.

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