Angle of Incidence Aviation Models
Home Page Theory Index
Angle of Incidence
    The angle of incidence is the angle formed by the wing chord line and the aircraft longitudinal axis. The wing chord line extends from the leading edge of the wing to the trailing edge of the wing. The longitudinal axis is an imaginary line that extends from the nose of the aircraft to the tail.1

    The angle of incidence is measured by the angle at which the wing is attached to the fuselage and in general, the angle of incidence is fixed and cannot be changed by the pilot.

    The angle of incidence is usually set at a small positive angle in order to allow the fuselage to maintain level during normal cruising flight. The angle of incidence varies on different aircraft, but on most light general aviation aircraft the angle is normally set at 6.2

    Although the angle of incidence is normally fixed, one exception would be the Vought F8U Crusader. The angle of incidence is increased during takeoff and landing in order to increase visibility for the pilot, particularly during landing.

    The angle of incidence should not be confused with the angle of attack. The angle of attack is the angle formed by the wing chord line and the direction of the relative wind.

End Notes:

1. AC-61-23A, Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge. (Washington, D.C.: Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation
    Administration, 1971). 2.
2.

Return To Aircraft Theory Index

© The Aviation History On-Line Museum. All rights reserved.
Updated December 13, 2009.