High or low wing

Profile picture for user geedee

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19 years 9 months

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Just interested to know what you prefer when flying in light aviation...do you prefer a high wing layout or a low wing layout ? Okay, you get 'greasier' landing with a low wing on acount of the air cushion and you get possibly better vis with a high wing layout. Me personally, I prefer to hang underneath a wing ! I dont know why, I just feel...safer...with it above me than below my seat, almost as if my weight is keeping it in balance (which I know is a load of sphericals!) Over to you
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16 years 7 months

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geedee, I find the viz better from a high wing aeroplane as you can see the ground better. Although, obviously, the wing gets in the way during turns. Seagull
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It's harder to see traffic above you when you're in a high wing aircraft... the accidentwhere a Cessna collided with PSA 182 comes to mind.
Profile picture for user Moggy C

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To my eye all the good aeroplanes have been low wing - Spitfire, P51, Fury, DC3, Concorde, Yak 52. The Cessna 152 and Lysander are high wing. Nuff said? Moggy A high-wing driver.
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19 years 9 months

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I learned to fly on C152s, but I then converted onto low wing types and have flown them ever since. I definitely prefer them for overall visibility, especially when visiting airfields I've never been to before (though I can accept that passengers may prefer a high wing because of the view they have of the ground). I was out in a Bulldog on Sunday and had a close call with a Cessna who hadn't seen me and started doing spiral dives in my direction. The acres of glass on the 'Dog' meant I could keep him in view and get out of his blundering way. It was also a time when I was glad that I was wearing a parachute (but that could be the subject of a whole different thread). YR

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The stability offered by high wing aircraft, for me is the ONLY reason why the Cessna series of aircraft got anywhere(that and next to no competition). The high failure rate of the nosewheel is another reason why I dont like them. I am biased, having flown the bulldog more than the 152, however the all over performance of the aircraft is greater than that of the cessna 152. the visibility alone should be seen as essential in a training aircraft. and looking at the ground won't do you much good when you cant see in the upper 3/4's of the sky.......where the majority of the problems are going to come from! sorry guys....just my own two pence worth! coanda
Profile picture for user Saab 2000

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It's hard to pick a position on this subject, there are so many examples to bolster your position. In my opinion the visibility in a low winged aircraft is generally better than that of a high winged aircraft. In the high winged aircraft the views are much better for the passenger but the low winged aircraft is more advantageous to the pilot who will not be blind in turns. Also a low winged aircraft will be less vulnerable to the things like crosswinds because a high winged is higher up on the crosswind gradient plus the wind has a tendency to get under the wings. Smaller things like refuelling and gear retraction which tend to also be much easier on the low wing aircraft with a high winged aircraft being harder. From a passengers point of view the low wing aircraft seems to have the advantage as well. The appearance is more modern on a low winged aircraft but less so on a high winged aircraft. To me a high winged aircraft gives an impression of less confidence whereas me being a commercial aviation kinda guy, I like the modern, jet like looks of the low winged aircraft. However, it is a circular argument and I’m sure others could question the low winged aircraft but that’s just my opinion on the matter.
Profile picture for user Kenneth

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19 years 9 months

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In favour of high-wing (Cessna): - a door on each side for ease of entry and egress (only one on a PA-28); - sufficient ground clearance for those huge and effective flaps (which you cannot really say for the ones on the PA-28). As regards visibility, I agree that it's poor on a Cessna, but it's not much better in PA-28. The low-wing configuration only really yields significantly better visibility with a canopy like the one on a Bulldog, Katana, Monsun etc. As regards the nosewheels on Cessnas, I don't have the impression that they are particularly weaker than on other designs, but many Cessnas are used as trainers where it regularly gets pounded into the ground first.
Profile picture for user EwenT

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GeeDee, hi. You say: Me personally, I prefer to hang underneath a wing ! I dont know why, I just feel...safer...with it above me than below my seat, almost as if my weight is keeping it in balance (which I know is a load of sphericals!) I don't agree, have you ever seen a low wing hang-glider?:) or have you ever tried checking the balance point of a low wing model by the fingers under the wing tip method method? It is just as likely to flip upside down. A high wing A/C must be more stable (hope I'm right).

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providing its designed properly then yes a high wing aircraft is more stable, in one or more axis, not necessarily all three. coanda
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19 years 9 months

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How bout two wings, the best/worst of both worlds :eek:
Profile picture for user Simmer

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19 years 9 months

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Might be a bit off the wall and far fetched but.... With all of our advancements in materials etc, there must be the possibility that a transparent wing could be manufactured. Obviously there's gonna be some light refraction owing to the shape of the wing, but could be an idea! How about the first fully transparent aircraft, one step further than a glass bottomed boat. :D

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16 years 7 months

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Aren't some of the really light man powered aircraft transparent? I guess they must use a kind of very strong cling-film? Transparent wings make sense though - but you'd have to fit a lot of strobes to make sure you were visible to other aircraft! Seagull
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I hadn't thought about being visible to other aircraft. Oops :eek:

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16 years 7 months

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One of the great advantages of high-wing is the downward view. I have been following the Britain from the Air series in Today's Pilot and this has given me a better idea of what to look for on my flights. The view from the C152 has been great for this and I am getting pretty good at spotting castles, old airfields and other sites - need now to take some-one with me to take the pictures. For touring with friends the low wing cabin types seem better and I've beem on a few weekends away with a PA28 and found it better than a Cessna. I guess as others have said, it's horses for courses!

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16 years 7 months

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Have the best of both worlds and get a high wing with a clear centre section. You have the uninterrupted downward views and a clear upward view of the low winger letting down on you.:mad:
Profile picture for user Moggy C

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Still looks like a bl**dy Lysander though! :) Moggy
Profile picture for user mixtec

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High wing does have some major aerodynamic advantages over low wing. High wing can get by without dyhedral which improves handling and air loss at wing tips a bit. High wings spin better, the schwiezer 2-33 sailplane trainer is a high wing which is almost spin proof. Sidesliping is less of a problem on high wings also.
Profile picture for user neal h

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19 years 9 months

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I had a flight in a Jodel D18 yesterday and the visibility is excellent, even the view downward, and as this aircraft flies with a slight nose down attitude the forward view is not obstructed by the engine cowling. on the downside the cockpit is a little cramped but you soon get over that. Neal
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16 years 6 months

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I think it depends what your plan is. Skydiving ... high wing is a must!!! Like a Cessna 182 is ideal. But, other than that, a low wing is a much nicer ride. I've owned Cessna 172, 182, 210; Citabria; Cherokee 140, 180,; Navion and my favorites always low wing. Now, Commander is the best ride! Happy flying ... high or low wing ... it's all good!