Just had a thought about canard airplanes while looking at the Tu-144 that features a canard surface on the top of its fuselage.

Are there any high-wing aircraft with a top or bottom mounted canard? What are the deficiencies that make the configuration so uncommon?

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    $\begingroup$ I believe that at least some aircraft on this list would qualify as "high-wing" $\endgroup$
    – DeepSpace
    Jan 25, 2022 at 9:50
  • $\begingroup$ E.g. all the MacCready "Gossamer xxxxx" aircraft $\endgroup$ Jan 25, 2022 at 13:53
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    $\begingroup$ Might better ask "why are there so few high wing aircraft" in general. All the same considerations apply. $\endgroup$
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Jan 25, 2022 at 14:25
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    $\begingroup$ @ZeissIkon I'm not sure if you meant that literally, but per Wikipedia 4 out of the 5 most-produced civilian aircraft of all time are/were high-wing: C172, C182, C150/2, J-3. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Jan 25, 2022 at 20:20
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    $\begingroup$ disciplesofflight.com/king-katmai There’s at least one. $\endgroup$
    – MD88Fan
    Jan 31, 2022 at 1:29

2 Answers 2


Who says there aren't?

MiG Utka (source): High wing, low canard. Sources say it was a pleasure to fly.

MiG-8 Utka

Focke-Wulf 19 Ente (Ente means the same in German what Utka means in Russian): High wing, high canard. It was built to research canard configurations.

FW 19 Ente

A high canard is unusual when ahead of the cockpit because it restricts the pilot's field of view too much.

For the drawbacks of canards in general please see this answer or this answer. If you ask yourself why you always read how much better canards are, consult this answer.

  • $\begingroup$ A high canard not ahead of the cockpit... Saab Gripen and Viggen are all I can think of. $\endgroup$ Jan 25, 2022 at 19:47
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    $\begingroup$ A pleasure to fly perhaps, but not to behold, dear god almighty what an ugly duckling... $\endgroup$
    – Jpe61
    Jan 25, 2022 at 21:25
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    $\begingroup$ "Ente means the same in German what Utka means in Russian" – And just to be clear: the German word "Ente" and the Russian word "Utka" mean the same as the English word "duck", which means the same as the French word … "canard". $\endgroup$ Jan 26, 2022 at 7:39
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    $\begingroup$ @CamilleGoudeseune What about the XB-70? Also a high canard, but a low wing. $\endgroup$ Jan 26, 2022 at 11:12
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    $\begingroup$ @htmlcoderexe A canard is a falsehood, mostly when printed in a newspaper. This is even used in English, with the French word. Only Wikipedia doesn't know this. $\endgroup$ Jan 26, 2022 at 17:44

Are there any high-wing aircraft with a top or bottom mounted canard?

No one could deny that the Aviafiber CANARD 2 FL was a (very!) high-winged aircraft with a forward-mounted canard. The wing was mounted very high above the fuselage on long diagonal struts, while the canard was at the level of the fuselage. For photos, visit http://www.delta-club-82.com/bible/photo.php?id_aile=568&langue=en

motorized version of the Aviafiber Canard

There was also a motorised version of it.

More info--



See also the Gossamer Condor and Gossamer Albatross human-powered aircraft.

Perhaps some of these also qualify--

Duck hang glider

Gyrfalcon hang glider

Mk 2 Splitwing Circa hang glider

And this unknown hang glider

But the real "nuts-and-bolts" answer to your question is this-- considering aircraft with a conventional enclosed cockpit or "cabin"-- if the aircraft has a horizontal stabilizer in the rear and an engine in the front, then one of the logical places to put the wing, as far as the fore-and-aft trim and stability is concerned, is on top of the cockpit or cabin. (Putting the wing beneath the cockpit or cabin can also work out well.) Once you move the engine to the rear and get rid of the rear horizontal stabilizer and add a (lifting) canard, it tends to work out best to put the cockpit or cabin in front of the wing, as far as the fore-and-aft trim and stability is concerned. This tends to rule out the option of putting the wing on top of the cockpit or cabin. (Or perhaps it would be more accurate to note that this tends to allow the designer the option of putting the wing more or less on the same level as the cockpit or cabin, without having structural parts run through the cockpit or cabin space.) But as other answers have shown, there are exceptions to every rule or generalization--even in such a case, there are still ways to mount the wing above the level of the cockpit or cabin, so a few such designs do exist.

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    $\begingroup$ Reading your answer, I remembered that I had a photo of the Aviafiber Canard in a motorised version. During the flyby it fluttered like hell but the pilot was undeterred and kept the speed up. $\endgroup$ Jan 26, 2022 at 19:06
  • $\begingroup$ @PeterKämpf -- nice addition, thanks $\endgroup$ Jan 26, 2022 at 19:15
  • $\begingroup$ @quiet flyer Thank you for sharing those obscure designs! Very interesting! $\endgroup$
    – Gerry
    Jan 27, 2022 at 7:20

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