What are the advantages and disadvantages of a high-wing vs. low-wing aircraft design? When might one prefer one to the other?
Is the answer the same for large and small aircraft?
This is actually a really hard question to answer, as there are a ton of factors. I'll try to cover a few.
There are a bunch more, but that ought to get the
argument discussion going.
@Egid, your already gave really good and correct answer dealing with the most important benefits and downsides, or simple the most significant differences. I like to follow your invitation and add the differences I thought of and you have not already mentioned:
The additional ground clearance also benefits the maximum crosswind some high-wing aircraft can cope with, what in my eyes is also an important point.
Also high wing aircraft - talking about light sports - benefit the design of the fuel system as it allows consumption from boath tanks simultaneously without installation of additional fuel pumps - this is not only a benefit for lazy pilots but has probably already prevented some accidents.
Now somebody needs to answer me, why I'm flying low-wing ;)
What are the advantages and disadvantages of a high-wing vs. low-wing aircraft design? When might one prefer one to the other? Is the answer the same for large and small aircraft?
I was flying on Porter Airlines and they had an info card about how similar the Bombardier (I still say DeHavallind) Dash 8 Q400s are to the Bombardier CSeries they have ordered are. There was a cool overlay photo to show relative sizes and shapes: Looking at that image, it got me wondering about the straight vs angled wing. Straight vs angled tails, etc. I get that a jet is faster than... wing design change. Is this just the history an old design (Dash 8) vs a very modern design?
Why does the Beech Staggerwing have its low wing in ahead of the high wing? What are the aerodynamic ideas behind this? Other biplanes of the era had the opposite, low wing behind the high one.
I've read a lot of NTSB crash reports regarding small, GA aircraft (just trying to figure out what went wrong and what to avoid.) There seem to be a lot of reports that talk about "low altitude high speed stalls" happening on approach. What is a high speed stall, and how is it created? What is the best way to avoid one? As they seem to cause a lot of GA accidents...
Quadcopters, by virtue of software-piloting rather than human-piloting, are capable of new modes of flight. I've seen one in which the machine maintains altitude despite the loss of two rotors by spinning (yaw). I wonder about a different mode, though; if a quadcopter could maintain a very high degree of pitch, then the flight is closer to a very short 4-engine X-wing aeroplane. This would.... Is this possible? Are there other modes beyond the capacities of traditional aircraft? E.g. yaw spinning in the forward pitch position, coast-and-burn by varying the pitch periodically to switch between
Was wondering if ATC can detect if aircraft is being flown manually vs. autopilot and if that affects their clearances given out for surrounding aircraft? More specifically, can they tell through ADSB signal or just by observation (holding flight level, turn rate, correction for wind, etc)? I would imagine that in high winds/bad weather non-AP operation would need to be better isolated from other aircraft?
In aeroelasticity, there are three main phenomena that one should take care of: divergence, aileron reversal and flutter. Each of them has an associated speed at which the phenomenon might start to occur. During wind-tunnel tests it is possible to increase the flutter speed to have access to the divergence speed first by using some small masses smartly placed on the wing. This is due to the fact that usually flutter speed is smaller than divergence speed. Is it always the case for aircraft (without additional masses on the wing)? If not do you have any example? If yes do you have
Antennas sticking out of an aircraft obviously increase profile drag, but the folks who design antennas have done a lot to improve aerodynamics: High performance aircraft can have antennas mounted inside of fiberglass components like wingtips, and flush-mounte antennas are available for transponders and DME equipment. For slower light GA aircraft more aerodynamic antennas are also available (e.g. blade-style transponder antennas are available which produce about 80% less drag than older spike-and-ball style antennas), measured at 250 MPH. Since the average light GA aircraft has a VNE below
When aircraft is at high altitude, atmospheric pressure will be too low but inside aircraft pressure is maintained such that it is comfortable for crew and passengers. But how is it maintained? As I understand that at higher altitude pressure difference can be too large which can deform the plane than how this is handled.
, such as winglets. However, looking at the Synergy aircraft as an example, box wings have no wing tips. Disregarding any other parts of the aircraft, are the wings actually free from induced drag... to the wings interfering with each other (apparently something addressed by the synergy aircraft by placing the upper wing further back or something), and the upper wing is actually more of a tail-plane, pushing down, thus further increasing the airspeed in between the airfoils if I understand correctly and eliminating the pressure differential from the top of the upper wing to the bottom