In simple terms Aspect Ratio is the wing span divided by the wing chord. Wing chord is the lenght of the wing from the wing leading edge to the wing trailing edge. the formula used for this is:
length of the wing/width of the wing = aspect ratio
However, because wings come in various shapes the aspect ration is the wing span divided by the mean wing chord. The formula for this is:
Aspect ratio = wing spanē / wing area
The aerodynamic aspect ratio is measured between the cores of the wingtip vortices that occur at about 80% of the geometric wingspan when the wing is outside ground effect. The aerodynamic aspect ratio of a wing has a strong inverse effect on lift induced drag.
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Updated December 9, 2009.