Airfoil: Meaning, Synonyms, Antonyms and Use Cases



Airfoil is the layer of an object whose motion through a gas space can generate meaningful lift.

An airfoil is a structure with curved surfaces designed to give the most favorable ratio of lift to drag in flight, used as the basic form of the wings, fins, and horizontal stabilizer of most aircraft.

Airfoil is a body (such as an airplane wing or propeller blade) designed to provide a desired reaction force when in motion relative to the surrounding air.

We mostly use an airfoil in American English and an aerofoil in British English.

This layer of the object mostly applies to aviation such as the aircraft wing, aircraft tail, and propeller blade, which end up bringing about the lifting of the plane into the air.

A body that moves in the atmosphere produces aerodynamic forces, and this force is because of the relative motion between the body (aircraft) and the atmosphere.

Airfoil is produced as streamlined, whereas a high-speed aircraft usually makes use of low-drag, low-lift airfoil that is basically thin and streamlined.


aerofoil, aileron, trailing edge, horizontal stabilizer, flap, wing, flaps, control surface, device, elevator, rudder, surface, rotor blade, tailplane, horizontal stabilizer, rotary wing, spoiler, vertical tail, leading edge, stabilizer.


stay in place, uncover, natural object, outside.



1922, U.S. form of Aerofoil

aer0- word-forming element meaning “air, atmosphere; gases”.

Used in 20c, use regarding aircraft or aviation,

from Greek aēr (genitive aeros) “air, lower atmosphere”.


Foil (n)

“very thin sheet of metal,” used in the early 14c.Foile, from Old French foilfueillfueille “leaf; foliage; sheet of paper; sheet of metal” used in the 12c, Modern French feuille). From Latin folia, plural (mistaken for fem. singular) of folium “leaf” (from PIE root bhel “to thrive, bloom”). The sense of “one who enhances another” (the 1580s) is from the practice of backing a gem with metal foil to make it shine more brilliantly. The meaning “light sword used in fencing” (the 1590s) could be from this sense, or from foil. The sense of “metallic food wrap” is from 1897.

Use Cases

  • The choice of airfoil and reducing drag were important factors considered before constructing the airforce aircraft.
  • At high speeds, the airfoils of the airforce aircraft generated extremely little drag.
  • The University of oxford engineering Students made some modifications to the airfoil wing of the project sports car to improve the downward force.

Frequently asked questions


What does an airfoil do?

Every aircraft flies at a particular altitude, and the wings of the aircraft are shaped in an airfoil manner that makes the air above the wing move faster than the air below the wings of the aircraft, exerting a lower pressure on the aircraft than the air moving below.


What is the difference between a wing and an airfoil?

An aircraft’s wing is seen as its main lifting surface, which extends to a maximum length. The intersection of the wing surfaces with a plane parallel to the aircraft’s x-y plane is what we refer to as an airfoil.


Where are airfoils used?

We basically used airfoils in the design of rotor blades, wind turbines, design aircraft, propellers, and other applications of aeronautical engineering.


What are the types of Airfoil?

We have basically two types, symmetrical airfoil, and non-symmetrical airfoil.

They are said to be symmetrical when the chord line and mean camber line are equal on the upper and lower surfaces, producing no life at zero AOA.

A non-symmetrical airfoil is commonly referred to as a cambered airfoil, it has differing upper and bottom surfaces, where the chord line is positioned above with a meaningful curve.


Airfoil are structures designed to manipulate the flow of a fluid to produce a reaction, these designed structures are influenced by their aerodynamic properties.

We must carefully consider the design of an aerofoil as certain characteristics should not be taken for granted depending on the intended purpose of the aircraft as speed and weight affect the aerodynamic qualities of an airfoil.



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