Curtiss-Wright T-32 "Condor"


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25 June 2009
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Here is a photo of the Curtiss-Wright T-32 "Condor", an airliner of the early 1930s that was comfortable but not very fast. It was used throughout the decade, alongside the likes of the Douglas DC-2/DC-3 or the Boeing 247, though it looks a lot more archaic in design and philosophy (it even looked outdated when it came out, it seems).


My question to all the people on this forum with a knowledge in design and engineering is this: would it have made a good monoplane? And if so, would the wing have been best located in bottom, mid- or upper position? Thank you all for your answers.
This deserves a longer answer than what I can provide, but...
If the airplane is designed as a biplane, then simply removing the top wing will roughly double the wingloading and drastically change just about every aspect of performance, landing speed in particular comes to mind.
You'd have to redesign the wing with the appropriate amount of area, greater span. The low position would probably be fine. This way you can keep the landing gear short and retract in the engine nacelles.
You don't want a mid wing, even though it might be aerodynamically advantageouos, because the wingbox ends up passing through the cabin (and passengers). With the proper fillets, you can keep a low wing just as clean.

Basically you would end up with something akin to a DC-2 (unsurprisingly) ;D
Check out the Stinson Trimotors, which were more contemporary with the Curtiss. They were monoplanes with braced, fabric or wood covered wings. A bit less streamlined than the DC-2 or Boeing 247.

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