Re: High wing vs. low wing

Date:         16 May 2001 17:45:16 
From:         wzman1@aol.comnojunk (WZMan1)
Organization: AOL http://www.aol.com
References:   1
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In addition to having the cargo deck low to the ground, an additional design
feature of most military cargo aircraft is an uninteruppted cargo compartment
which allows cargo to be rolled on and rolled off.  On a low wing aircraft, the
wing carrythrough structure would require the cargo deck to be installed above
the structure or would result in a hump spanning the cargo compartment.  On
aircraft like the C-130, C141, C-5, & C-17, the wing structure passes through
the fuselage overhead, reducing headroom but leaving a huge flat cargo deck.

Additional considerations include requirements for operations from unimproved
airfields.  The C-130 and C-17 were built to meet requirements for operations
on short, unimproved runways.  A high wing provides engines with greater
clearance from FOD than a low wing.  In the case of the '130, the high wing
gives additional clearance for the props!

As for airliner operations, a low wing configuration permits the passenger deck
to be mounted above the wing box, leaving an uninterrupted passenger floor and
no compromise on head room.  The baggage area is invaded by the wing structure,
but the baggage doesn't mind.
W Zelenski