Aerodynamic Lift, Drag and Moment Coefficients

In the previous post we introduced the four fundamental forces acting on an aircraft during flight: Lift, Drag, Thrust and Weight and examined how they interact with one-another. We are now going to look more closely at the two aerodynamic forces Lift and Drag. We will look at the relationship between the two forces, study how they interact with one another, and learn how to non-dimensionalize the resulting forces. Let’s do this!

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Angle of Attack

Angle of attack refers to the angle between a reference line on a body and the vector representing the relative motion between the body and the fluid through which it is moving.

It is most often used in an aeronautical context to describe the angle between the chordline of an airfoil and the relative wind or resultant direction of airflow. In cases where a wing has twist, it is often taken as the angle between the chordline at the wing root and the relative wind.
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