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Center of Lift vs. Center of Thrust

  1. Nov 2, 2015 #1
    I have been thinking about the CoL and CoT on rockets. I came to the conclusion that they are in the exact same spot on the rocket since your thrust and lift come from the same thing in the same place, the engine. I read some forums on other websites but didn't get a clear answer. It would be very helpful if someone could clarify this for me.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 2, 2015 #2
    The center of lift (sometimes called center of pressure) is the point of application of aerodynamic force generated by fins, wings, body, etc. There is a CP for each lifting surface and for the total lift generated by the whole rocket.
  4. Nov 2, 2015 #3
    Your saying that the center of lift is calculated from all of the fins, body, etc. But if you are travelling perfectly vertical than the fins, body, etc. are only adding stability and drag, no upward force until it starts travelling non-vertical if I am correct. So I am just saying that the exact upward lift and the thrust are both coming from the engine. But the actual defined CoL is calculated by the fins, body, etc.

    Thanks for the reply
  5. Nov 2, 2015 #4
    That's right. When angle of attack is zero, no lift is generated. However, for fins to add stability, they must produce some lift whenever a disturbance occurs. Keep in mind that lift is the component of aerodynamic force perpendicular to the relative wind. The lift vector may point any direction, including sideways or down.
  6. Nov 3, 2015 #5
    AI understand now.
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