Parasol wing

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Parasol wing
An amateur-built Pietenpol Air Camper featuring a parasol wing

A parasol wing monoplane is an aircraft design in which the wing is not mounted directly to the fuselage, but rather, the fuselage is supported beneath it by a set of struts, called cabane struts.[1] Parasol wing designs resemble biplanes lacking their lower set of wings.

This configuration has the advantage of providing excellent visibility from the cockpit, but the disadvantage of extra drag caused by the struts. A typical feature of light aircraft designed in the 1920s, such as the Pietenpol Air Camper and Heath Parasol, it is no longer a common configuration, but is still used in modern nostalgic designs for homebuilt aircraft such as the Loehle Sport Parasol. Other parasol aircraft from the 1920s include the Davis Monoplane[2] and the Lockheed Air Express.

In some aircraft, particularly flying boats, the parasol wing is held above the fuselage by means of a closed structure known as a pylon. This gives these aircraft a cleaner appearance, especially when combined with a cantilever wing, as there are no visible struts. The pylon reacts to any wing rolling moment with its own set of spars extending from the fuselage frames. A typical example of a pylon parasol aircraft with struts is the Consolidated Catalina.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Crane, Dale: Dictionary of Aeronautical Terms, third edition, page 379. Aviation Supplies & Academics, 1997. ISBN 1-56027-287-2
  2. ^ Davis Monoplane