The characteristics of midlatitude sporadic-E layers are observed using rocket payloads incorporating a probe and a propagation experiment.Layers below 120 km show evidence of preferred altitudes. The slopes of layers are within 1° of horizontal. The horizontal dimensions are deduced to be several hundred kilometers. Individual profiles of daytime layers show a range of shapes ranging from triangular to rectangular. The plasma frequency derived from the peak electron density in the layer is found to agree with the blanketing frequency given by the local ionosphere sounder.