...find the design angle of attack of my wing?

The lift of a wing of finite span at a certain angle of attack is less than the lift of a two dimensional airfoil (which corresponds to a wing of infinite span). In general, the lift loss due to the wing tips is more pronounced, as the wing span is reduced.

This effect also means that the angle of attack required to reach the same lift must be higher as the wing span is getting smaller. The relation mainly depends on the aspect ratio of the wing and can be approximated as follows.

Procedure (abbreviations and symbols are listed at the end of this page):

(In general this value will be in the order of 5-6)

Case AR <= 4
Case AR > 4


Symbol Description
b wing span
e span efficiency factor, typically between 0.85 and 0.95
S wing area
a0 lift slope dCL/dalfa of the infinite wing (2D airfoil)
a lift slope dCL/dalfa of the finite wing (3D wing)
a0 2D zero lift angle of the infinite wing (2D airfoil)
a2D 2D angle of attack of the infinite wing (2D airfoil)
a3D 3D angle of attack of the finite wing (3D wing)
lift coefficient of the infinite wing (2D wing)
CL lift coefficient of the finite wing (3D wing)


Last modification of this page: 21.05.18

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