Re: Low vs. High Wings?

Date:         01 Aug 97 04:04:14 
From:         faurecm@halcyon.com (C. Marin Faure)
Organization: Northwest Nexus Inc.
References:   1
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In article <airliners.1997.1603@ohare.Chicago.COM>, hmt@cygnus.co.ukx
(Hugo Tyson) wrote:

> Apologies if it's in the FAQ, a question, and suggested answer:
>
> Why do commercial airliners have low wings and military transports have
> high wings?

Your list seems pretty good except for the bit about the raked-up tail to
avoid tail strikes on takeoff or landing.  I don't think that's the
primary reason.  I think the tail is raked up to accomodate the loading
ramp which is used on the ground and in some transports (C-130, C-17) in
the air to deploy troops and air-droppable cargo.  The B-52 and B-47 have
high wings but did not have severely raked-up afterbodies.  The B-52
doesn't really rotate however, either on takeoff or landing, but he B-47
seems to in the film I've seen.

I would be curious to know if speed is a factor.  It seems that all the
military transports are pretty slow in cruise compared to jetliners.  This
may be due to factors entirely separate from the wing position, however.

But I suspect the greatest reason for the high wing on military transports
is simply to keep the engines off the ground and the fuselage close to it
for loading purposes.

C. Marin Faure
  author, Flying A Floatplane