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# Airfoil Terminology

## Topics covered in this session

!! Overview !! Airfoil Terminology (static) !! Airfoil Terminology (flight) !! Wing Terminology !! National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics
(NACA) Airfoil Numbering Systems

## What you should do prior to next class

!! Read ANA pages Airfoil Terminology, and pages
61-63, Effect of Wing Planform.

!! Watch this lecture !! Create your own notes in word, save it as a .pdf
version of notes

and post it in Dropbox as homework. !! This should be no more than a page of YOUR OWN

1. Overview

## Top view of wing: ! Important aerodynamic characteristic ! Determines aircraft performance

NACA
!! Naming Airfoil !! Examples:

## 2. Airfoil Terminology (Static)

Cambered Airfoil:

The terms:

## CHORD AND CHORDLINE

1. Chordline. A straight line from leading edge to trailing edge. 2. Chord. The length of the chordline. The letter c is used to identify the chord. Other features of the airfoil are often described in % of the chord measured from leading edge to trailing edge. For example, location of maximum camber for the airfoil above could be described as 0.4c or 40% of the chord.

Camber

3. Mean camber line (MCL). The line midway between upper and lower surfaces. The MCL for a cambered airfoil necessarily rises above the chordline. The MCL for a symmetric airfoil is coincidental (same as) the chordline itself. 4. Maximum camber. The maximum separation of the MCL from the chordline. Maximum camber is normally expressed as a % or fraction of the chord. 5. Maximum camber location. The point along the chordline where maximum camber occurs. Maximum camber location in the airfoil above is approximately 0.4c or 40% of the chord measured from leading edge to trailing edge.

!! 5. Maximum thickness.
Maximum thickness of the airfoil is the maximum distance from the bottom edge to the top edge. Maximum thickness of the above airfoil is approximately 0.12c or 12% of the chord.

## !! 6. Maximum thickness location.

The maximum thickness location is the point along the chordline where maximum thickness occurs. Maximum thickness location in the airfoil above is approximately 0.3c. The radius of a circle that describes the leading edge curvature.

## 3. Airfoil Terminology (Flight)

Flight terminology
!! Flight path is the aircraft airspeed and direction. !! Relative wind represents the airflow over the airfoil/wing. Relative wind is
always equal and opposite the flight path. wind or flight path.

!! Angle of attack (9) is the angle between the chordline (1) and the relative !! Total aerodynamic force (TAF) (10) is the total force on the airfoil
produced by the airfoil shape and relative wind. flight path. flight path.

!! Lift (7) is the TAF component that is perpendicular to the relative wind or !! Drag (8) is the TAF component that is parallel to the relative wind or !! Center of pressure (11) is the point on the chordline where the TAF , and
therefore lift and drag, act.

4. Wing Terminology

Aspect Ratio

Typical ARs
!! High Performance Glider:
25 (long,thin)

6 to 8

!! Jet Fighter

Wing Sweep

## National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA) Airfoil Numbering Systems

! 3 Systems ! 4 digit system ! 5 digit ! 6 digit ! Numbers have specific meaning and to recognize cambered and symmetric airfoils. ! Not important to memorize

Review
!! Overview !! Airfoil Terminology (static) !! Airfoil Terminology (flight) !! Wing Terminology !! National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics
(NACA) Airfoil Numbering Systems