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  1. #1
    bigedmustafa's Avatar
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    What is the best first biplane?

    I'm interested in getting a reasonably priced .40 sized biplane ARF together over the winter, and was wondering if anybody had some good suggestions. The two I've been looking at the most are the Thunder Tiger Tiger Bipe and the World Models Ultimate .40 If you've flown either of these planes I'd appreciate comments and opinions regarding their flight characteristics as well as any power recommendations you might have. I'd probably go with a .54 4-stroke for either plane unless told otherwise.
    Electric RC planes are like non-alcoholic beer, they are OK in a pinch if the real thing is not available.

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    RE: What is the best first biplane?

    biged,

    I was under the impression the Tiger Bipe was no longer available, but if you can get one I would think you would like it for 'sport flying.' The .54 4-C should be plenty of power, but might require some weight added near the tail to balance at CG. Prop clearance may be an issue, but repalcing the stock main wheels with large diameter would solve that. I have no experience with th Ultimate .40, yet.

    Last year I bought and flew a Tiger Bipe ARF, with a Magnum .40 2-C. I left the wheel pants off (always do) and changed to 2 3/4 inch mains for better handling on our grass field. I had plenty of power at our altitude (100'), not unlimited vertical, but scale-like takeoffs from our grass field at about 3/4 throttle. The four-stroke's torque should offset for Omaha's slightly higher altitude (I grew up in the corn country 150 miles to the west). From my point of view Tiger Bipe flew nicely at half throttle in level flight, so only used more than that for up lines, loops, etc. Slow flight controlability was good, with landing speed barely faster than an 'Alpha' trainer. Loops of 40-50 feet diameter were easy, with full throttle until 'over the top.' Altitude gains of 50 -70 during Stall Turn, and until 'fall off' during vertical rolls. Reasonable response from the ailerons (bottom wing only) using the suggested settings. Like most bipes it does not do axial rolls, but has slight variation in altitude as Elevator is definitely required (with suggested CG) during rolls, as well when inverted. Also like most bipes, it loses speed quickly when trottle is reduced. For landings I could take my pick of 'wheel landing' or 'three-point.' However, had to make "very" smooth transition to 'nose up' for a 3-pt, or it wanted to balloon slightly. I had a lot of fun with the Tiger Bipe.

    After about 30 flights I sold it to an acquaintance who 'needed a training biplane', and went back to flying my Saito 150 powered, Super Stearman. [8D]

  3. #3

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    RE: What is the best first biplane?


    ORIGINAL: tonystro

    biged,

    I was under the impression the Tiger Bipe was no longer available, but if you can get one I would think you would like it for 'sport flying.' The .54 4-C should be plenty of power, but might require some weight added near the tail to balance at CG. Prop clearance may be an issue, but repalcing the stock main wheels with large diameter would solve that. I have no experience with th Ultimate .40, yet.

    Last year I bought and flew a Tiger Bipe ARF, with a Magnum .40 2-C. I left the wheel pants off (always do) and changed to 2 3/4 inch mains for better handling on our grass field. I had plenty of power at our altitude (100'), not unlimited vertical, but scale-like takeoffs from our grass field at about 3/4 throttle. The four-stroke's torque should offset for Omaha's slightly higher altitude (I grew up in the corn country 150 miles to the west). From my point of view Tiger Bipe flew nicely at half throttle in level flight, so only used more than that for up lines, loops, etc. Slow flight controlability was good, with landing speed barely faster than an 'Alpha' trainer. Loops of 40-50 feet diameter were easy, with full throttle until 'over the top.' Altitude gains of 50 -70 during Stall Turn, and until 'fall off' during vertical rolls. Reasonable response from the ailerons (bottom wing only) using the suggested settings. Like most bipes it does not do axial rolls, but has slight variation in altitude as Elevator is definitely required (with suggested CG) during rolls, as well when inverted. Also like most bipes, it loses speed quickly when trottle is reduced. For landings I could take my pick of 'wheel landing' or 'three-point.' However, had to make "very" smooth transition to 'nose up' for a 3-pt, or it wanted to balloon slightly. I had a lot of fun with the Tiger Bipe.

    After about 30 flights I sold it to an acquaintance who 'needed a training biplane', and went back to flying my Saito 150 powered, Super Stearman. [8D]
    ---------------------------------------

    I have a Global Ultimate Biplane ARF in the box that is in the que to be assembled. I hear it is supposed to be quite a performer.

    Although it is advertised and sized as a .40 to .50 powered model (two-stroke), lots of folks are flying them with Magnum .91 four-strokes. The idea is that this model needs lots of nose weight to balance properly, so why not carry the weight in extra engine?

    My only gripe with the ARF is the color of the covering. Yech! But whatcha gonna do if you don't feel like building and covering your own? <G>

    My first biplane was a Balsa USA Phaeton powered by a Super Tigre S.40K two-stroke. I see that the Phaeton II is still being made. The original was a great flying model.
    \"Practice makes prefect\"

    Saito Club Member #52

  4. #4
    bigedmustafa's Avatar
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    RE: What is the best first biplane?


    ORIGINAL: tonystro

    biged,

    I was under the impression the Tiger Bipe was no longer available, but if you can get one I would think you would like it for 'sport flying.'
    The Tiger Bipe survived Ace's recent web site update, so it's still a current model. eHobbies shows it as being in stock, but that probably isn't a super reliable indicator of the facts. Ace dropped some other ARFs that hadn't been available for a while like the Tiger Sport and the Tiger Trainer .25, they're no longer on the website. That's why I'm comfortable guessing the Tiger Bipe is still available.

    ORIGINAL: Ed Cregger

    My first biplane was a Balsa USA Phaeton powered by a Super Tigre S.40K two-stroke. I see that the Phaeton II is still being made. The original was a great flying model.
    I actually considered building a bipe kit of somekind. I don't feel like I have anywhere near enough building experience to put one together yet. I'd heard that SIG and Great Planes are really easy kits to build, but I hadn't heard anything about Balsa USA kits. Are they brainless enough for a complete building novice to attempt?
    Electric RC planes are like non-alcoholic beer, they are OK in a pinch if the real thing is not available.

  5. #5
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    RE: What is the best first biplane?

    The Sig Sundancer 50 should be a good sport bipe.

    I just bought the big Sundancer and it is a gorgeous and very well built ARF. Typical Sig.
    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

  6. #6
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    RE: What is the best first biplane?

    the Sig looks nice to me.
    Smooth, like Keith Stone.

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    RE: What is the best first biplane?


    ORIGINAL: bigedmustafa


    ORIGINAL: tonystro

    biged,

    I was under the impression the Tiger Bipe was no longer available, but if you can get one I would think you would like it for 'sport flying.'
    The Tiger Bipe survived Ace's recent web site update, so it's still a current model. eHobbies shows it as being in stock, but that probably isn't a super reliable indicator of the facts. Ace dropped some other ARFs that hadn't been available for a while like the Tiger Sport and the Tiger Trainer .25, they're no longer on the website. That's why I'm comfortable guessing the Tiger Bipe is still available.

    ORIGINAL: Ed Cregger

    My first biplane was a Balsa USA Phaeton powered by a Super Tigre S.40K two-stroke. I see that the Phaeton II is still being made. The original was a great flying model.
    I actually considered building a bipe kit of somekind. I don't feel like I have anywhere near enough building experience to put one together yet. I'd heard that SIG and Great Planes are really easy kits to build, but I hadn't heard anything about Balsa USA kits. Are they brainless enough for a complete building novice to attempt?


    The original Balsa USA Phaeton bipe was fairly simple. It had to be, I built and flew it! <G>

    I haven't seen the kit of the Phaeton II, but I would be surprised if you couldn't do a good job of building one. Sometimes I am tempted to pick up the kit before it disappears. Every once in a while I get this weird urge to glue balsa together. Kits are nice for that.

    So far, the Balsa USA kits that I have built have been easy and enjoyable to construct. Both have been great flyers. I wouldn't put them in the ease of construction of the Great Planes kits, but they are still good. I never liked Sig kits because of their design philosophy, but lots of others do, so they must be good too.
    \"Practice makes prefect\"

    Saito Club Member #52

  8. #8

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    RE: What is the best first biplane?

    ORIGINAL: bigedmustafa

    I'm interested in getting a reasonably priced .40 sized biplane ARF together over the winter, and was wondering if anybody had some good suggestions. The two I've been looking at the most are the Thunder Tiger Tiger Bipe and the World Models Ultimate .40 If you've flown either of these planes I'd appreciate comments and opinions regarding their flight characteristics as well as any power recommendations you might have. I'd probably go with a .54 4-stroke for either plane unless told otherwise.
    My first bipe was a SIG Ultimate Fun Fly; a profile Ultimate. It was impressive to me because it could take off, land and fly in a tame manner on low rates (or with lots of expo), but could also be a total blast for tearing up the sky. It flew great in the wind. Because of it's compact size, it could be transported easily to the field already assembled in the back seat of my car.

    Because of its flying qualities and convenience, I fell in love and it quickly became my most-flown model. I flew it with a Thunder Tiger .46 Pro with Tower muffler. I always wanted to try mounting my Saito .56 but never got around to it before I crashed it hard. It sustained that borderline kind of damage where it would be a lot of work to rebuild, but it looks a little too intact to toss in the trash. So... it sits in the shop, waiting for me to get in the right mood to try and resurrect it.

    It only comes in a kit, but with its simple wings and profile fuselage, it's an easy build. I think you would really enjoy it.

    I have looked hard at The World Models Ultimate 40 too. It seems a little short, but the price is right and my experience with four other World Models ARFs has been very positive. I've heard some bad reports on Thunder Tiger ARFs but have no experience with them myself. (I sure love their Pro series .40 and .46 engines.)

    Good flying,
    desmobob



  9. #9
    mrbigg's Avatar
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    RE: What is the best first biplane?

    Did somebody say Sig Ultimate????????????

    The Sig kit is pretty straight forward to build. Only about eighty bucks. OMP makes a nice 60 to 90 size profile Ultimate.
    I seen on your profile that you've got about a years experience with planes. Even with only a year's experience, does not mean that don't have the abilities to build from a kit. Only you can answer that question. But, most kits have real good instructions that walk you through every step of the way. The Sig Ultimate instructions were superb. Plus you have it made, your hooked up to RCU!!! If you ever have a problem during building, we'll be here to help. That's why I love this place. Take a look a the Proverb below!
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    Smooth, like Keith Stone.

  10. #10

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    RE: What is the best first biplane?

    Where did you get that miniature child?

    Mama mia! That's a big Ultimate. Nice engine... think it will pull it?

    That one sure won't fit in the back seat of the car, assembled....

    Good flying,
    desmobob

  11. #11
    mrbigg's Avatar
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    RE: What is the best first biplane?

    No, it won't even fit in the back of the truck assembled! Check the build thread on it in the profile forum. Feel free to offer some tips and advice.
    Yeah it should pull it. ZDZ 120, all up weight about 26lbs.
    Smooth, like Keith Stone.

  12. #12
    Don M.'s Avatar
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    RE: What is the best first biplane?

    The Sig Ultimate Fun Fly gets my vote. I have had one for 8 years and another NIB in the attic, when that one is worn out ( soon now ). It started life with an OS .46 2 - stroke and that lasted 1 day ( I hated the 2 - stroke in it ). I pulled that and put a Saito .56 in it. That lasted 5 years and now I have a YS .63 in it ( absolutely a blast ) can you say unlimited vertical and straight out of the hand launches. I am now considering electric for it if someone can tell me what e - power will give me the same performance as the YS.

    One thing for sure - make your engine very realiable, YOU DO NOT WANT A FLAME OUT WITH THIS PLANE, it glides like a man hole cover, but man what fun.
    I can only please 2 people every day and #2 just left.

  13. #13

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    RE: What is the best first biplane?


    ORIGINAL: Don M.

    The Sig Ultimate Fun Fly gets my vote. I have had one for 8 years and another NIB in the attic, when that one is worn out ( soon now ). It started life with an OS .46 2 - stroke and that lasted 1 day ( I hated the 2 - stroke in it ). I pulled that and put a Saito .56 in it. That lasted 5 years and now I have a YS .63 in it ( absolutely a blast ) can you say unlimited vertical and straight out of the hand launches. I am now considering electric for it if someone can tell me what e - power will give me the same performance as the YS.

    One thing for sure - make your engine very realiable, YOU DO NOT WANT A FLAME OUT WITH THIS PLANE, it glides like a man hole cover, but man what fun.
    I thought the SIG UFF flew great with a .46... why didn't you like the two-stroke? I never got to fly my Saito .56 in mine. I guess I'll have to try and rebuild it this winter.

    I know what you mean about the glide ratio. I bought mine used with a Magnum .46 on the nose and bent up the landing gear several times until I replaced the Magnum with a Thunder Tiger.

    I think I better order another UFF kit to have in storage, just in case. You never know when a company might discontinue an airplane you really enjoy.

    Good flying,
    desmobob

  14. #14
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    RE: What is the best first biplane?

    I had 2 reasons for disliking the 2 - stroke. First and foremost is that the "sound" just didn't suit this little bipe IMHO, and secondly I did not like the throttle transition of the 2 - stroke ( actually the lack of ). If you want to have a blast put a YS .63 in it. You should see the stares I get when I walk to the flight line, hammer the throttle, hold the plane by the cabane over my head and let go, STRAIGHT UP.

    I had a Goldberg Ultimate / 1.08 and am currently putting together a 27% Ultimate / 52cc but this little Sig has to be one of my all time favourites. I am even considering blowing up the plans ( not quite as big as Mr. Bigg's ) and putting in a MVVS 26cc gasser c/w tuned pipe I have. I am just fanatical about these bipe's. I have had people comment to me that they disliked profiles until they saw mine fly.
    I can only please 2 people every day and #2 just left.

  15. #15

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    RE: What is the best first biplane?


    ORIGINAL: Don M.

    I have had people comment to me that they disliked profiles until they saw mine fly.

    I was one of those people that never cared much for profile airplanes. When I saw the UFF fly and was offered to take it up for a flight, I enjoyed it. Then, the owner offered to sell me the whole airplane -- engine, Rx, servos, even the transmitter!-- for $100. I jumped on it.

    I had more flights on that plane than any other I had owned when I finally put it in. It inspired me to put together a Dave Patrick Ultimate with a Saito 1.50, which I just finished. I still miss the UFF dearly, with it's convenience and great flying. I'll repair it or build another this winter, I guess.

    Good flying,
    desmobob

  16. #16
    Don M.'s Avatar
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    RE: What is the best first biplane?

    Here's a pic just after I installed the YS. Since this was taken I moved the elev. & rud. servos to the rear, much better.





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    I can only please 2 people every day and #2 just left.

  17. #17
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    RE: What is the best first biplane?

    I moved mine to the rear also. I have a S.T. .51 in my small one. I would prefer a YS 63.................
    Smooth, like Keith Stone.

  18. #18
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    RE: What is the best first biplane?

    Plenty of good feedback here, maybe I should take a harder look at the SIG Ultimate Fun Fly!

    My first ARF that I put together was my Tiger Stick .40, which went together very easily, is flying straight as an arrow, and I'm having a blast with it. I was happy enough with it that I've been checking out other Thunder Tiger ARFs and I thought the Tiger Bipe was attractive and very reasonably priced (about $159).

    I want to build my first kit, though. So if I can find a bipe kit that I think is easy enough for my (very limited) skill level, I'll probably jump on it. My favorite local hobby shop had a Great Planes .46 Ultimate kit and a SIG Ultimate Fun Fly kit in stock when last I visited. Sounds like I might need to dust off the Visa card and pop by there again.
    Electric RC planes are like non-alcoholic beer, they are OK in a pinch if the real thing is not available.

  19. #19
    Don M.'s Avatar
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    RE: What is the best first biplane?

    Buy the Sig, you won't be sorry. Veeeery easy to build & cover. What the heck buy em both, you can't have enough Ultimates, it doesn't seem that it matters who kits them, they all fly well. The added advantage of the Sig FF is that the wind cannot blow strong enough to keep you on the ground. I have flown mine in a 30 mph gale and had a blast.
    I can only please 2 people every day and #2 just left.

  20. #20

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    RE: What is the best first biplane?


    ORIGINAL: Don M.

    The added advantage of the Sig FF is that the wind cannot blow strong enough to keep you on the ground. I have flown mine in a 30 mph gale and had a blast.
    The Ultimate Fun Fly ignores the wind. I don't know why that is, but it's true... I would fly the SUFF when I wouldn't want to put anything else up because of the wind conditions.


    Good flying,
    desmobob

  21. #21
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    RE: What is the best first biplane?

    The Sig kit is laser cut and goes together real easy. The fuse is sheet balsa with a plywood doubler added to each side. Pretty simple to build.
    Smooth, like Keith Stone.

  22. #22
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    RE: What is the best first biplane?

    Mr. Bigg, never mind spending you free time over here, get that Monster finished so we can have a flight report. As I said earlier I too want to "blow up" my UFF plans, although not as big as yours. I want about 1200 - 1400 sg. in. of wing and 8 - 9 lbs. for my MVVS 26cc gasser & pipe.
    I can only please 2 people every day and #2 just left.

  23. #23
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    RE: What is the best first biplane?

    I know. I'm hoping to get most of it covered over the holiday weekend. I still can't get over the fact of spending over 900 bucks on servos.[:@]
    Have you ever seen OMP Ultimate?
    Smooth, like Keith Stone.

  24. #24
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    RE: What is the best first biplane?


    ORIGINAL: mrbigg

    I know. I'm hoping to get most of it covered over the holiday weekend. I still can't get over the fact of spending over 900 bucks on servos.[:@]
    Have you ever seen OMP Ultimate?

    I just spen about that on my 27% WM Ultimate, 7 Hitec Digitals, Smart - Fly Power Expander setup, JR PCM rec., batteries, etc. I don't know why we do this, it cost me about $500 for the Sig FF total including .46 OS I had in it at first and I've been having fun with it for 8 years. Now I'm throwing about $2500 into this 27% and wii propbably not enjoy it anymore,. We all need professional help.

    I have seen the OMP Ultimate on the screen, not in the flesh.
    I can only please 2 people every day and #2 just left.

  25. #25
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    RE: What is the best first biplane?

    I heard that! I'm think I'm going to start a thread about "overpriced servos".
    Smooth, like Keith Stone.


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