Airfoil terminology

June, 18, 2021 by

To further understand airfoils and their working, airfoil terminology needs to be grasped. The following terms are typically used while describing an airfoil.

  1. Leading Edge – The foremost edge or tip of the airfoil profile which comes into contact with the air first.
  2. Trailing Edge – The rearmost point of the airfoil profile. It serves as a converging point for air diverged by the leading edge.
  3. Chord – This is the shortest path between the leading and trailing edges. The line formed is called the Chord line.
  4. Mean Camber Line – Line joining the leading and trailing edges equidistant from both lower and upper surface.
  5. Maximum Camber – Maximum distance between the mean camber line and the chord line.
  6. Maximum Thickness – Maximum thickness of the airfoil, measured by the distance between the upper and lower surface.
  7. Camber – Camber can be defined as the asymmetry between the upper and lower surfaces. It is usually expressed as a percentage called camber percent chord.
  8. Angle of attack – It is the angle of inclination of the airfoil relative to wind.
Siddhansh Narang is a contributor for the IFATC Education Group. He is an IFATC Supervisor.