View Full Version : High winged aircraft

12th Jun 2002, 19:33
What is the difference in stability between high and low winged aircraft and how does this affect high winged aircraft in lateral manouveres. Also due to the interference of the airflow on high wing aircraft between the fuselage and wings in gusty conditions how will this affect its lateral stability.
many thanks for any help.

14th Jun 2002, 19:59
A bigger factor would be whether the aircraft has dihedral or anhedral.


Stan Evil
15th Jun 2002, 15:22
The high wing aircraft will be more stable laterally than a low wing. When an aircraft is banked it starts to sideslip. If you just look at the sideways component of motion, in line with the banked wing, the drag line of the high wing aircraft will be above the centre of gravity and so the drag produced will tend to roll the aircraft level. You get a similar effect from a high T-tail.

So, leaving wing sweep out of this, high wing aircraft (C172) doing the same job as a low wing aircraft (PA28) need to have less dihedral.

16th Jun 2002, 15:35
The real advantage of high wing is you can taxi through gates, having just landed on the road, but having no desire to be clobbered by a passing road train.
Otherwise, in the real world there is sod all difference.
Tootle pip!!

Dave Incognito
18th Jun 2002, 04:44
High wing aircraft are also really good for giving unsuspecting tourists a headache when they inevitably whack their head on it getting into/out of the aeroplane. :p

Weight and Balance
19th Jun 2002, 01:02
An interesting observation that supports Mr. Evil's post:

Take a look at the most highly developed flying machines in the world - birds. Any gliding bird (wings fixed, like an airpane) has the majority of the body side area below the wing.

10 billion sea gulls can't all be wrong!

19th Jun 2002, 03:09
I presume that W&B is being a bit tongue in cheek here ... a cursory consideration of the physiological design problems in locating tension members (muscles) in a low wing bird design dictates that only a high wing design is going to make the grade at the initial omnipotent being/evolutionary process (take your pick) design review meetings .......

19th Jun 2002, 07:50
With regard to the relative merits of high vs low wing, about the only comment I can make is...the high wing aeroplane is nicely at truck bed height and therefore useful for cargo loading. Flew F.27's for a long time and they NEVER let me down, airframe or engines.:D :D :D

Dan Winterland
19th Jun 2002, 20:52
Seem to remember my CFS notes saying that a high set wing gave the same lateral stability as 3 degrees of dihedral.

23rd Jun 2002, 10:06
A pencil note in my CFS AeroD (1) says :

"Two Chinamen and two Welshmen = Lateral Stability"

Took me a moment to remember (it was a very long time ago !!)

Hi Wing
Hi Fin
Sweep Bach
Di Hederal


23rd Jun 2002, 23:03
I believe Mr Winterland is correct.
High wing creates a dihedral effect. To the point that anhedral may be required on high wing a/c to counteract said effect, as too much dihedral gives too much stability-poor manoeuvrebility
Don't know about the 3 degrees though. Never got that technical.
p.s. does anyone know how to spell manoeuvrebility?

25th Jun 2002, 15:45
One only has to look at the anhedral of the Bae 146