You are on page 1of 4


. Center of Pressure and Aerodynamic center

Point of intersection of line along which air resultant
force acts with airfoil chord is termed center of
pressure (Fig. 10.13). Position of center of pressure on
the chord is defined by dimensionless coordinate



Dimensionless coordinate of center of pressure Fig. 10.13. Definition of center of pressure
and aerodynamic center for airfoil
can be defined from the expression for
aerodynamic moment relatively to the leading
M zA.
Y x
edge of airfoil
x. zA zA zA
C ya
m zA
Substituting expression for

(10.43) into relation (10.46) finally we obtain


x. m zAya

m z0
C ya


x. m zAya
For symmetrical airfoils value



does not depend on

m z0 0
angle of attack because

. For asymmetrical airfoils relative coordinate of

C ya
center of pressure depends on the airfoil shape (camber) and lift coefficient
(angle of attack) (Fig. 10.14 and Fig. 10.15).


Fig. 10.14. Relation between

C ya

position of center of pressure and

Fig. 10.15. Relation between position of

center of pressure and angle of attack

We can find such point on the airfoil chord that moment for different angles of attack
will be identical with respect to this point. Lets write an expression for moment with
respect to some point

, arbitrary located on the chord (see fig. 10.13):

M zF.
Y (Fx

xzA ) MF Y x

Transiting to dimensionless factors and taking into account expression (10.43), we


m zF m zA xF C y m z0 m zAya C ya xF C ya m z0 m zAya xF C ya


Lets assume that point

xF m zAya
has coordinate

, then moment with respect

C ya

m z0
to this point will be equal to

at any values of lift coefficient

Point on the airfoil is termed airfoil aerodynamic center if aerodynamic moment does
not depend on angle of attack with respect to this point. Airfoil aerodynamic center
is a point of applying additional aerodynamic force appearing with changing angle of
attack that is why moment with respect to this point does not change.

Aerodynamic center of thin airfoil is located on distance of

airfoil chord from the
leading edge regardless the airfoil shape. Stable position of aerodynamic center is

m zA f ( C ya )
kept on linear site of dependence

If we know position of aerodynamic center then moment coefficient (10.43) can be

represented as follows

m zA m z0 xF C ya

Relation between position of center of pressure and aerodynamic center

x. xF

m z0
C ya


It follows from this relation that center of pressure of symmetrical airfoil coincides

x. xF
with its aerodynamic center:

C ya 0
. For asymmetrical airfoils at

) center of pressure is located at infinity (see fig. 10.14 and fig. 10.15). With

f 0
increasing angle of attack for airfoils with positive camber (
), center of
pressure displaces to the airfoil nose, forthcoming to aerodynamic center at large
angles of attack.