digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















A graph showing coefficient of pitching moment with respect to angle of attack. The negative slope for positive α indicates stability in pitching.

In aerodynamics, the pitching moment on an airfoil is the moment (or torque) produced by the aerodynamic force on the airfoil if that aerodynamic force is considered to be applied, not at the center of pressure, but at the aerodynamic center of the airfoil. The pitching moment on the wing of an airplane is part of the total moment that must be balanced using the lift on the horizontal stabilizer.[1] More generally, a pitching moment is any moment acting on the pitch axis of a moving body.

The lift on an airfoil is a distributed force that can be said to act at a point called the center of pressure. However, as angle of attack changes on a cambered airfoil, there is movement of the center of pressure forward and aft. This makes analysis difficult when attempting to use the concept of the center of pressure. One of the remarkable properties of a cambered airfoil is that, even though the center of pressure moves forward and aft, if the lift is imagined to act at a point called the aerodynamic center the moment of the lift force changes in proportion to the square of the airspeed. If the moment is divided by the dynamic pressure, the area and chord of the airfoil, to compute a pitching moment coefficient, this coefficient changes only a little over the operating range of angle of attack of the airfoil. The combination of the two concepts of aerodynamic center and pitching moment coefficient make it relatively simple to analyse some of the flight characteristics of an aircraft.[2]


The aerodynamic center of an airfoil is usually close to 25% of the chord behind the leading edge of the airfoil. When making tests on a model airfoil, such as in a wind-tunnel, if the force sensor is not aligned with the quarter-chord of the airfoil, but offset by a distance x, the pitching moment about the quarter-chord point, M_{c/4} is given by

M_{c/4} = M_\text{indicated} + \mathbf{x}\times (D_\text{indicated}, L_\text{indicated})

where the indicated values of D and L are the drag and lift on the model, as measured by the force sensor..


The pitching moment coefficient is important in the study of the longitudinal static stability of aircraft and missiles.

The pitching moment coefficient C_m is defined as follows[3]


where M is the pitching moment, q is the dynamic pressure, S is the planform area, and c is the length of the chord of the airfoil. C_m is a dimensionless coefficient so consistent units must be used for M, q, S and c.

Pitching moment coefficient is fundamental to the definition of aerodynamic center of an airfoil. The aerodynamic center is defined to be the point on the chord line of the airfoil at which the pitching moment coefficient does not vary with angle of attack,[2] or at least does not vary significantly over the operating range of angle of attack of the airfoil.

In the case of a symmetric airfoil, the lift force acts through one point for all angles of attack, and the center of pressure does not move as it does in a cambered airfoil. Consequently the pitching moment coefficient for a symmetric airfoil is zero.

The pitching moment is, by convention, considered to be positive when it acts to pitch the airfoil in the nose-up direction. Conventional cambered airfoils supported at the aerodynamic center pitch nose-down so the pitching moment coefficient of these airfoils is negative.[4]


  • Clancy, L.J. (1975), Aerodynamics, Pitman Publishing Limited, London, ISBN 0-273-01120-0
  • Piercy, N.A.V, Aerodynamics, pp384–386, English Universities Press. London (1943)
  • Low-Speed Stability Retrieved on 2008-07-18


  1. ^ Clancy, L.J., Aerodynamics, Section 5.3
  2. ^ a b Clancy, L.J., Aerodynamics, Section 5.10
  3. ^ Clancy, L.J., Aerodynamics, Section 5.4
  4. ^ Ira H. Abbott, and Albert E. Von Doenhoff (1959), Theory of Wing Sections, Dover Publications Inc., New York SBN 486-60586-8

See also[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitching_moment — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
158759 videos foundNext > 

Gyro Effect - Effect of Pitching Moment of Yawing Moment

The purpose of this experiment was to demonstrate the gyro effect, and the effect of pitch on yawing moment. It was constructed out of poplar wood for the fr...

#etfasa7: Pitching Moment

Mustafa was inroducing the idea of #etfasa7 in just a minute :)

Coefficient of Moment for a Pitching Airfoil

The Time-Spectral method (a.k.a. Fourier collocation method) is used to compute the unsetady aerodynamics associated with a pitching airfoil in a freestream....

XoptFoil airfoil optimization with pitching moment constraint

XoptFoil uses the XFoil aerodynamics engine to optimize airfoils. You can get the code here: https://sourceforge.net/projects/xoptfoil/ This example shows th...

Yulsic Moment 5 [ys184512] - Yuri N Sica Pitching Baseball Moment.

Share WITH your friend.

TABU Memorial Shootout Softball Tournament — Pitching moments

Softball pitching tips with Amanda Scarborough

Former Texas A&M All-American softball pitcher Amanda Scarborough breaks down the fundamentals of several different softball pitches. For more info, visit ht...

How Pitching In The Moment Took Jake Johansen From a 45th Rounder to a 2nd Round MLB Draft Pick

How Pitching In The Moment Took Jack Johansen From a 45th Rounder to a 2nd Round MLB Draft Pick. http://www.nextlevelballplayer.com/

Worst ever pitch, Worst ever product on BBCs Dragons Den.

How do you make Britain's roads even more dangerous....... enter Derek Cousins AKA Frank Spencer of Flow Signals he's asking for £50000 for 10% of the compan...

Greatest Moments In Sports (HD)

Music: M83- Lower Your Eyelids to Die With the Sun.

158759 videos foundNext > 

2 news items


Thu, 30 Oct 2014 09:52:30 -0700

Cole Hamels, Jake Diekman, Ken Giles and Papelbon for best pitching moment. The four pitchers combined to no-hit the Braves on Sept. 1 at Turner Field. • Jerome Williams for oddity. His win against the A's on Sept. 20 gave him three wins against ...
Scuttlebutt Sailing News
Tue, 07 Oct 2014 04:38:48 -0700

Luna Rossa skipper Max Sirena believes the Italian syndicate can finally win the America's Cup. “For the first time I feel in a position to win the America's Cup,” Sirena told a media conference at the just-completed Genoa Boat Show. “It would be the ...

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!

Searchlight Group

Digplanet also receives support from Searchlight Group. Visit Searchlight