# Airfoil question about camber and thickness

1. Nov 4, 2015

### Fawzi Da

Hello everyone!

I wanted to ask if the wing thickness is the same meaning as camber?

2. Nov 4, 2015

### cjl

No, they are two different parameters. Camber describes the curvature of the airfoil. Thickness is exactly what it sounds like. Thus, you can have a thick, low camber airfoil (like this one: http://avstop.com/ac/basichelicopterhandbook/2.jpg ), a thin, low-camber airfoil (http://static.rcgroups.net/forums/a...b-3dhs_extra_shp_airfoil_01c.jpg?d=1224138433), a thick, high camber airfoil (http://ec.europa.eu/research/transport/images/projects/44_1.jpg [Broken]) or a thin, high camber airfoil (http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=138520&d=1289149584).

Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
3. Nov 4, 2015

### SteamKing

Staff Emeritus
The attached image shows a typical cambered airfoil:

Airfoil sections are typically defined with no camber, such that the ordinates of the section above and below the chord line are symmetrical. Such an airfoil typically requires a non-zero angle of attack (AOA) in order to generate lift. Transforming a symmetrical airfoil by applying a camber line typically produces a new airfoil shape which can generate lift at zero AOA.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airfoil

Different airfoil shapes and camber lines are cataloged by various organizations like NASA (successor to the NACA) and others.

4. Nov 5, 2015

### Fawzi Da

Thank you all for replying. I appreciate it, I have another question for an assignment I'm working on but can find the search that I exactly need. My question is why is an airfoil thicker in the middle section?

Thank you again

5. Nov 5, 2015

### rcgldr

Where the airfoil is thickest depends on the air foil. Laminar airfoils tend to have the thickest part further back than coventional airfoils. On conventional airfoils, the thickest part is neart the front (about 1/4th to 1/3rd wing chord behind trailing edge). On laminar airfoils, the thickest part is near the middle.

Last edited: Nov 5, 2015
6. Nov 5, 2015

### Staff: Mentor

The "why" though is essentially to reduce drag while maximizing lift. For a given cross sectional area, a teardrop shape is the lowest drag.