Similar to deciding what lifestyle you want, deciding on the proper wing for your trike is an important step. This will also help you decide on the engine to buy (small wing needs a big engine – big wing can have a small or big engine).
Size of wing
In deciding what wing you want, the first choice is the size of wing – small, medium or large. Larger wings (17 and 19 m square meters) fly slower and can handle smaller horsepower engines. They are also needed for water operations with greater drag of the float/boat system and slower speeds.
Short field landings are also easier in a slower larger wing. But if you want to fly in more wind and turbulence the smaller wings (11 to 13 square meters) with higher-powered engines are better. Smaller wings fly faster but need longer landing/takeoff areas (1000 feet which is still pretty small) plus fly better in higher winds and turbulence. Smaller wings need more horsepower to go faster.
Storing the wing
Deciding how to store the wing determines what type of wing you buy. All trikes will set up and take down and can be stored in a trailer, but some are easier than others. All trikes can fit into an airport hanger if the door opening is greater than 12 feet high.
The kingpost on wired trikes sticks up usually to about twelve feet where topless trike wings can fit into hangers that have a clearance about nine feet. A topless/strutted wing is much easier to find a hanger with clearance.
Topless wings have a big advantage simply because they are more efficient and easier to store/transport. However, the topless wing is a little more expensive and they weigh more. For many, the advantages outweigh the extra cost and weight. They look better, are more efficient and fit into hangers better.
With a large trailer, 22 feet by 8 foot, you can fold the wings back on a topless wing and move it in without taking it off the carriage. Again, a topless wing is helpful here. If you are going to use a smaller trailer, 7 x 12 minimum, you can take the wing completely off and get the carriage into a trailer and put the wing on top of the vehicle. This takes a little more time but has been done by many for decades. A lighter single surface wing with wires is easier to set up and take down for this type of operation.