Calculating the Aspect Ratio
of a Wing or Flying Surface
The Aspect Ratio is the ratio of wingspan to
average wing chord.
Average wing chord for a tapered wing is the root chord plus the tip chord
divided by two. For a constant chord wing, the average chord is the chord
anywhere along the wing panel.
Why Aspect Ratio is Important
The Aspect Ratio of a wing is an indicator of the aircraft's
All else being equal, high aspect ratio wings
(narrow chord to span) will have a slower roll
response than a low aspect ratio wing.
The Aspect Ratio of a flying surface largely determines the
drag ratio of the surface.
High aspect ratio wings, such as on
sailplanes, are more efficient and have a higher
lift to drag ratio.
High aspect ratio wings are more easily broken and are less tolerant of
poor engineering, poor building and flight outside design parameters.