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11/03/2017 AerodynamiccenterWikipedia

Aerodynamiccenter
FromWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

Thetorquesormomentsacting
onanairfoilmovingthrougha
fluidcanbeaccountedforby
thenetliftappliedatsome
pointontheairfoil,anda
separatenetpitchingmoment
aboutthatpointwhose
magnitudevarieswiththe
choiceofwheretheliftis
chosentobeapplied.The
aerodynamiccenteristhe
pointatwhichthepitching
momentcoefficientforthe
airfoildoesnotvarywithlift
coefficient(i.e.angleofattack),
sothischoicemakesanalysis
simpler.[1]
Thedistributionofforcesonawinginflightarebothcomplexandvarying.This
where is imageshowstheforcesfortwotypicalairfoils,asymmetricaldesignontheleft,and
anasymmetricaldesignmoretypicaloflowspeeddesignsontheright.Thisdiagram
theaircraftlift showsonlytheliftcomponentsthesimilardragconsiderationsarenotillustrated.The
coefficient.
aerodynamiccenterisshown,labeled"c.a."
Forces(lift/drag)canbe
summeduptoactthroughasinglepoint,thecenterofpressure,aboutwhichsumofallmomentsequalzero.The
centerofpressurelocationhowever,changessignificantlywithachangeinangleofattackandisthusimpractical
foranalysis.Thusthe25%chordposition,orassumedaerodynamiccenter,istakenaboutwhichtheforcesand
momentaregenerated.Atthe25%chordpositionthemomentgeneratedwasfoundandproventobenearly
constantwithvaryingangleofattack.Theconceptoftheaerodynamiccenter(AC)isimportantinaerodynamics.It
isfundamentalinthescienceofstabilityofaircraftinflight.

Pleasenotethatinhighlytheoretical/analyticalanalysistheaerodynamiccenterdoesvaryslightlyandchanges
location.Inmostliteraturehowevertheaerodynamiccenteristakenatthe25%chordposition.Thisconversely
meansthatifonekeepstheassumedACfixedat25%chord,thatthemomentabout25%chordcanbe'not
constant'dependingontheairfoil.Alargeportionofcamberedairfoilshavenonconstantmomentsaboutthe25%
chordpositionbecausetheACdoesvaryslightly.Formostanalysisthenonconstantmomentaboutthe25%chord
positionisnotsignificantenoughtowarrantconsideration,butisimportanttokeepinmind.

Forsymmetricairfoilsinsubsonicflighttheaerodynamiccenterislocatedapproximately25%ofthechordfrom
theleadingedgeoftheairfoil.Thispointisdescribedasthequarterchordpoint.Thisresultalsoholdstruefor
'thinairfoils'.Fornonsymmetric(cambered)airfoilsthequarterchordisonlyanapproximationforthe
aerodynamiccenter.

Asimilarconceptisthatofcenterofpressure.Thelocationofthecenterofpressurevarieswithchangesoflift
coefficientandangleofattack.Thismakesthecenterofpressureunsuitableforuseinanalysisoflongitudinal
staticstability.Readaboutmovementofcentreofpressure.

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11/03/2017 AerodynamiccenterWikipedia

Roleofaerodynamiccenterinaircraftstability

Forlongitudinalstaticstability: and

Fordirectionalstaticstability: and

Where:

Foraforceactingawayfromtheaerodynamiccenter,whichisawayfromthereferencepoint:

Whichforsmallangles and , , , simplifiesto:

GeneralCase:FromthedefinitionoftheACitfollowsthat

TheStaticMargincanthenbeusedtoquantifytheAC:

where:

=yawingmomentcoefficient
=pitchingmomentcoefficient
=rollingmomentcoefficient
=Xforce~=Drag
=Yforce~=SideForce
=Zforce~=Lift
ref=referencepoint(aboutwhichmomentsweretaken)
c=referencelength
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S=referencearea
q=dynamicpressure
=angleofattack
=sideslipangle

SM=StaticMargin

References
1.Benson,Tom(2006)."AerodynamicCenter(ac)".TheBeginner'sGuidetoAeronautics.NASAGlennResearchCenter.
Retrieved20060401.

Seealso
Aircraftflightmechanics
Flightdynamics
Longitudinalstaticstability
Thinairfoiltheory
Joukowskytransform

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Categories: Aerodynamics Geometriccenters

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