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Biplane Flight Differences

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Old 01-05-2012, 08:06 PM
  #1
SeamusG
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Default Biplane Flight Differences

Ihave a Hog Bipe. Couple of mostly successful flights. In another thread (Hog Bipe Build Thread) a fellow poster asked for feedback pertaining to the differences in flying a biplane as compared to a single wing plane. I thought it was a great idea for a thread. So, here's the thread.

How do the flight characteristics of a biplane differ from it's single wing cousin?

Thanks for your input. Much appreciated.


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Old 01-05-2012, 09:39 PM
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Gray Beard
 
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Default RE: Biplane Flight Differences

Depends on the plane a bit. An Ultimate isn't a lot different then an Extra. In general a bipe has a slower roll rate but again, it depends. I find a bipe easier to land because most of them float a bit better but they also slow down faster so you have to watch the stall.
I just don't find enough difference in the air. Everyone should go through a Bipe stage, mine lasted for years and I came out with favorites but I never saw a lot of difference.
Set up is the key to any plane but a bipe better be set up perfectly. I spent a lot of trim time on mine getting the incidence set correctly. Lateral balance was another little thing.
I still enjoy flying a bipe but I quit building them several years ago. My favorite was my Tiger Moth and the best stunt plane was my scratch built/plans Krier Kraft designed by Gordon Whitehead from the UK.
Hard to ever beat the Ultimate though. Perhaps the best all time stunt plane.
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Old 01-06-2012, 03:56 AM
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Steve Percifield
 
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Default RE: Biplane Flight Differences

What Gray Beard said. Like him, I don't find much difference when airborne. Since they tend to be more short coupled than a single wing plane, and depending on the plane, take offs might require more rudder attention. But if built and set up properly, there's nothing to fear. BTW, I currently have 27 biplanes in my fleet, from small foamies up to 1/3 scale WW1 birds. I love Biplanes. You can see most fly on my website.

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Old 01-06-2012, 03:57 AM
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Default RE: Biplane Flight Differences

I have flown a couple of Bipes a Python 50 CC which I still fly and a Goldburg Ultimate that I just sold...
I find that as said above there isn't alot of differences....a Bipe will knief edge like a champ....but the stall speed will jump up and bite ya......
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Old 01-06-2012, 05:33 AM
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Default RE: Biplane Flight Differences

I don't have a lot of biplane experience, but one thing that struck me about my Pica Waco was how draggy it is. Have to keep a fair amount of throttle on final. Also, with that particular plane I'm up to full right rudder by the end of the takeoff roll.
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:52 AM
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Default RE: Biplane Flight Differences

I agree with above, plus one point. There is great influence in bipes flight created by the relative incidence of the upper and lower wings. Something that does not exist with a monoplane. A bipe can have very benign or unmanageable characteristics depending on how the upper wing sits relative to the lower and the horizontal stab.

My BUSA EAA Bipe is 0-0 in this area and flies fine. Others with much more experience than have I can comment on what incidences work and doesn't work.

Bedford
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:09 AM
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Default RE: Biplane Flight Differences

I never had a foam Bipe myself but when I went through my bipe period most of what I built was WWI stuff. The Fokker D-VII was my first. It isn't real short coupled but it took a while to get used to the ground handling. Once figured out it ws just another plane. I found the Smith Mini plane a real thrill on the ground. Once in the air it was just another plane. The Tiger Moth has a very long fuse and it was more like a trainer in all respects. On take off it would come up on step and if elevator wasn't used you could start hitting the prop on the ground.
I saw the stall speed mentioned by jet. Again, 100% correct. Some of them can be bad and some don't have any problem. I lost my Krier Kraft in a stall while I was showing off. Too slow with a steep bank. Once they go into the snapping stall spin your out of luck. I learned that the hard way.
When building or setting up if the full scale plane had a rotary engine you know from the get go your model will be tail heavy. That applies to any plane that used a round motor though. Just build accordingly and if it's an ARF then use a heavy engine and install your gear forward.
I removed the wires off my Moth and Boeing. Top mentioned Drag, again, another 100% correct statement. When in static display I had the wires all on, when flying I removed them.
If you want to see and feel drag take some wire or string and pull it through some water. Now you have a better understanding of drag.
Planes like the Ultimate are built very clean with as little drag as they can make them.
I haven't been there or posted any photos in a while but I'm sure I have some photos in my file of some of my Bipes is anyone wants to look. I still have the plans to several of them. The Krier was a great build!! I would build another Moth if I found a good kit. I really did like that Moth!!!
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Old 01-06-2012, 09:49 AM
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Default RE: Biplane Flight Differences

Greybeards advice is very good. I am a bipe fan and so far I've done 7 Airomasters, 1 giant Airmaster, 2 1/4 scale Moths, 2 Phaeton 90's, 3 Phaeton 40's, several of Chuck Cunningham's designs and many more. I just love the way a bipe flys if you set it up properly which can be a chore. On nearly all of mine, I have found that the best setup is with the upper wing at 1.5 degrees LESS angle of attack than the lower wing. Most of mine also liked 3 to 5 degrees downthrust and about 3 degrees right thrust to really grove the the maneuvers. I guess my two favorites were Chuck Cunningham's large Lazy Ace and the Aeromasters.
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Old 01-06-2012, 09:56 AM
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Default RE: Biplane Flight Differences

Rodney - can I PM you about the Lazy Ace? I'm picking up a friend's that needs a full recover & unknown other stuff. DLE20 is to be the power.
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Old 01-06-2012, 10:25 AM
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Default RE: Biplane Flight Differences

Everything basically the same with the same infinite number of results from infinite configurations. Just more drag.... which is good. Teaches you to have reliable engines!
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Old 01-06-2012, 03:12 PM
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Default RE: Biplane Flight Differences

This old thread had some related good posts:

Three questions about trainer biplanes: How? When? Which?

http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_94...tm.htm#9443317
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Old 01-06-2012, 03:13 PM
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Default RE: Biplane Flight Differences

[]Double post, sorry[]
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Old 01-06-2012, 03:56 PM
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Default RE: Biplane Flight Differences

lnewqban - you're an incredible source of good stuff! Thx.
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Old 01-06-2012, 05:41 PM
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Default RE: Biplane Flight Differences

I Have been thinking about a used GP 50cc Christan Eagle.    Any warnings.
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Old 01-06-2012, 05:43 PM
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Default RE: Biplane Flight Differences

Great thread! Ihave always been interestedin theWW l bi planes but have been told that they fly slow and are a bear in cross winds compare to a mono wing, which is what has kept me from building one. I'd really like to have one though...What size wwl bi plane would be good for a DLE 20-30?

Thanks
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:22 PM
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Default RE: Biplane Flight Differences


Quote:
ORIGINAL: ES CONTROL

I Have been thinking about a used GP 50cc Christan Eagle. Any warnings.
Nope, good plane as long as you do your part. That's set up as well as flying. Like a Pitts the ground handling can be faster then the operator. Don't get behind it. If it gets ahead of you remember who is operating the throttle.
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:29 PM
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Default RE: Biplane Flight Differences

Glad to see this thread. I've got a couple of questions:

First off has anyone had experience with the Top Flite Elder Bipe? I've got one on the shelf and am chomping at the bit to get it started... Have done a little research and from the post I've found it seems that the plans give an incorrect CG point. Any secrets for setting CG on a biplane, particularly the Elder? Any insight would be appreciated

Second, how important is engine selection, is it important to stay within the recommended range? With a monoplane you can eek by with just enough power or stuff a big a big old power plant up front... Just wondering if a biplane was as forgiving...

The info in the other thread about the ailerons was great...

Thanks for the input.
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:50 PM
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Default RE: Biplane Flight Differences



This has nothing do do with flight, but when you build a bipe, you finally finish a wing, and you forget you have another to build [:'(]

As for flight, I flew my astro hog, then the hog bipe, I couldn't tell much difference, but it also depends what your setup is for the engine and prop. I have flown some bipes that have a weak engine, and it flew different than a low wing with a weak engine, so setup playsa key role also.

Just my thoughts

Jason

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Old 01-06-2012, 07:55 PM
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Default RE: Biplane Flight Differences

SeamusG,
Thanks for starting up this thread as I never got around to it.
Question. What about visual orientation while in flight I have heard that you have to be on your toes.
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:43 PM
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Default RE: Biplane Flight Differences

I find the visual image of my biplanes more difficult to recognize than my monoplanes. The second wing viewed from certain angles presents a confusing image and can cause me to become briefly disoriented. However, with experience you get used to it and learn to pick up on the visual cues. Just avoid the more aggressive aerobatics until you have some stick time with your bipe. No low knife-edge passes or low snap rolls until you have some time on it.
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:48 PM
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Default RE: Biplane Flight Differences

DGUY - my middle name is "impatient" - just ask my Ex.

When Icovered my HB the predominant upper color was Ultracote Cub Yellow - not as brilliant as the Bright Yellow, and the lower color is gray. I added bold (3") stripes of Midnight Blue on the lower wing's gray bottom only - orientation front to back. The lower wing's top is solid yellow. The upper wing's bottom is solid gray. The upper wing's top is background yellow with a bold lateral Midnight Blue asymetrical stripe. This is consistent with most of my other planes. Top - lateral tip-to-tip, bottom - front to back.

The pics are of images that Igenerate before covering.

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Old 01-06-2012, 09:40 PM
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Default RE: Biplane Flight Differences

I think the biggest difference with a bipe is the glide. They simply don't glide very far at all. Basically, when dead stick, just pick a spot beneath you and aim for it.
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Old 01-06-2012, 10:42 PM
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Default RE: Biplane Flight Differences

I have a H9 Sopwith Camel that I just love to fly. Ground handling is tricky with just a tail skid but as long as you take off and land directly into the wind, all is well. If not chances of a nose over increase drastically. Once in the air, it is a very graceful flyer. Landing is under some power until it stops. For me, the difference in flight characteristics are subtle once airborne compared to my other scale type A/C.

Harry
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Old 01-06-2012, 11:19 PM
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Default RE: Biplane Flight Differences

The ultimate is the nicest plane I have ever flown!
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Old 01-07-2012, 01:05 AM
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Default RE: Biplane Flight Differences

I believe this is what the poster wanted to no. Congratulations for pointing out the most obvious difference between a mono and bi wing configuration while viewed inflight. My first biplane was a Hangar 9 Sterman and I experienced the same thing. It took many flights before I became comfortable flying this model. Currently I'm flying a BH Pitts S1S and the landing is the most difficult portion of the flight. All my landings so far are two pointers . I made one modification to the airframe and that was replacing the stock tailwheel assembly to change the incidence angle of the hoizontal stabilizer. This one modification eliminates the erratic ground handling characteristics common to this airframe.
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