High Wing versus Low Wing Aircraft

There are several wing configurations but I'd rather compare High Wing aircraft versus Low Wing types.

Examples of high wing aircraft are of Cessna design such as the Cessna 152's, 172's, 182's, 206's, 337's, etc. Cessna however, did produce low wing aircraft as well such as the 340's, 421's, 425's, 441's, etc.

Most low wing aircraft are of the Beechcraft and Piper aircraft. Examples are Beech Musketeer, Sundowner, Bonanza, Barons, and King Air's while Piper has the L-4 Piper Cub, Warrior, Cherokee, Arrow, Lance, Seminole, Aztec, Cheyenne, Navajo, etc. all named after American Indian Tribes.

The advantages of high wing aircraft are: unobstructed view of the ground, lower stalling speeds and easier to control. Great for training and sightseeing. A disadvantage may be an emergency crash landing on water. Obviously, sink rate is faster.

Low wing aircraft fly faster and are highly maneuverable. View of the ground however, is quite obstructed by the wings. Emergency landing on water or ditching is a plus over the high wing. That is, if the pilot is able to smoothen the landing. Sink rate is longer, thus allowing pilot and passengers to remain afloat for a little more while until rescue arrives. An engine quit may make a low wing aircraft more difficult to control. Its rate of descend would be faster than a high wing, which has an ability to glide.

Well, of course that all depends on the pilot's skills and aptitudes when coping with such emergency situations. Maybe I will shout MAYDAY!

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