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Monday 21 April 2014 • 09:59 GMT • Last update 16:46

Angle of attack

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The angle of attack of an aerofoil (also called an airfoil or wing) is the angle at which the aerofoil is mounted, relative to the air it is flowing through.

Angle of attack is usually measured to the aerofoil's chord line, which is an imaginary line joining the leading and trailing edges.

Generally, the steeper the angle of attack the more downforce a wing will generate. However, if the angle of attack becomes too great the airflow around the wing detaches from the surface and the wing stalls. In this condition it generates almost no downforce.

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