Angle of Attack


angle of attack

angle of attack

The angle of attack is the angle at which an airfoil passes through the air. This angle is measured between the chord of the airfoil and the relative wind direction.
The chord is an imaginary line from the leading edge to the trailing edge of an airfoil. Increasing the angle of attack deflects the airstream and causes an upward (or downward pressure, depend of position of the longer surface of an aerofoil) pressure on the underside or upper side of the airfoil. This in turn increases the speed of the airflow over the longer side of the airfoil. As air-flow-speed increases, pressure on the foil's top side is further reduced. The upward pressure on the foil's underside and pressure reduction on the top side combine to furnish lift or downforce.
Angle of incidence (fixed-wing aircraft or car) is the angle between the airfoil chord line and the longitudinal axis or other selected reference plane of the aircraft or car.
The angle of attack and angle of incidence are measured in angle degrees.

Lift and Drag Coefficient

The Coefficient of Lift and the Coefficient of Drag represent the changes in lift and drag as the angle of attack changes. CL and CD are not expressed by any physical unit, they are rather absolute numbers obtained from either wind tunnel tests or derived mathematically.
Initially both CL and CD increase as the angle of attack increases. At a certain point, the lift (or downforce) begins to drop while the drag increases sharply. This point is defined as the Critical Angle of Attack. If the angle of attack increases passed the Critical Angle of Attack, at one point all lift will be lost while the drag continues to increase. This event is called wing stall.

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Books to read

Some useful links:

- f1technical.net, a great site with a lot of technical information’s and explanations. Site is updated daily with news from F1 word.

 - autosport.com, This site is a legend. A bible for racing lovers. News from all around the word. Unfortunately, to get access to all news, interviews and to open the site completely you should be subscribed to Autosport magazine. Anyway, great read.

James Allen on F1
- JA.F1 site (or blog) ovned by ITV Sport’s lead commentator on Formula 1 James Allen

Joe Saward blog
- joesaward is the Joe Saward official blog about Formula 1 world. Joe is an journalist, who write primarily about politics in and around motorsport, specifically on the FIA Formula 1 World Championship

Vital F1
 - vitalf1.com/ is another great site for Motor Sports fan’s like me. Site is relatively new, but great fun, with great discussion forum, Formula 1 news and forum.

 GP update
- f1.gpupdate.net, Site with fresh news from Formula 1

Planet F1
 - planetf1, another site with many different articles, news and statistics. Biased toward British teams, but anyway good read.

Gurney flap
 - gurneyflap.com, Great history site. You can learn a lot from this site. Pictures, cars and many many more. Great.

4ormula1 is a database of Formula 1 history and statistics of drivers, teams, grand prix, and all results since 1950

Racecar engineering
-Racecar Engineering, an online magazine with a lot to learn from, a lot of technical information’s and explanations

 - fia.com, La Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, representing the interests of motoring organisations and motor car users. Head organisation and ruler in auto sport.

 - wikipedia.org, I don’t believe that I have to tell you anything about this site. It’s not about Formula 1 technology, but you can learn a lot about that too.

Sutton Images

grandprix photo

 - carbibles.com, a great site for normal car users. Here you can find explanations of almost everything about your car and how it works. Technical reviews and explanations of some in-car gadgets.

Dare To Be Different
- Daretobedifferent.org Susie Wolff and UK governing body of UK motorsport have joined forces to launch Dare To Be Different, a high-profile new initiative which is about increasing female participation, not just on the track but in all aspects of the sport.