Angle of attack lesson by Francois -
our newest student
This Flash animation demonstrates the fact that the angle of attack of the
wing increases with the thrust of the engine. It was sent to me by one of our
newest students. The white line (marked reference) represents the flight path
of the wing. The blue line (marked angle of attack) represents an line drawn
directly from the trailing edge to the leading edge. Clearly, as you increase
the thrust of the engine your angle of attack increases. Since about 60% of
the lift is generated from the laminar flow of air over the top surface it is
crucial that the angle of attack be small enough to allow this laminar flow.
If this angle is exceeded the wing loses most of its lift and is no longer able
to support its own weight. This is known as a stall.