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Terms About Wings That Every Pilot Should Know

Becoming a pilot is more than just having the passion to fly. When you become a pilot, you will need to know many terms about the airplane and all its parts. These pilot terms about the wings are crucial for you to recognize.

Wing Span

Wing span is the distance from wing tip to wing tip

Chord Line

The chord line runs from the leading edge to the trailing edge of the wing.


The midline is the average line running symmetrically through the center of the wing.


The camber is the difference between the midline and the chord line.

Wing Area

The wing surface area including the area covered by the fuselage.

Angle Of Attack

It is the most common term used in aviation for the difference between the chord line and the relative wind.

Angle of Incidence

The angle of incidence is the angle between the longitudinal axis of the aircraft and the chord line of the wing.

Wing Washout

It is a change in an airfoil's angle of incidence, measured from the root to the tip.

Aspect Ratio

This is the wing span divided by the average chord. You'll find high aspect ratio wings on gliders and low aspect ratio wings on fighter jets.

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