The camber of an airfoil is the characteristic curve of its upper or lower surface. The camber determines the airfoil's thickness. But, more important, the camber determines the amount of lift that a wing produces as air flows around it. A high-speed, low-lift airfoil has very little camber. A low-speed, high-lift airfoil, like that on the Cessna 150, has a very pronounced camber.

   You may also encounter the terms upper camber and lower camber. Upper camber refers to the curve of the upper surface of the airfoil, while lower camber refers to the curve of the lower surface of the airfoil. In the great majority of airfoils, upper and lower cambers differ from one another. There are some exception - see below.