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An aircraft is said to have positive stagger when the upper wing is positioned forward of the lower (bottom) wing, such as the de Havilland Tiger Moth or Stearman. Conversely, an aeroplane is said to have negative stagger when the upper wing is positioned behind the lower wing, as in the Sopwith Dolphin or Beech Staggerwing.
Positive stagger is by far the most common, as this positioning of the upper wing(s) allows better upward visibility for the crew as well as increased aircraft longitudinal stability.
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It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Stagger (aviation)".