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Encyclopedia > Biplane
Reproduction of a Sopwith Camel biplane flown by Lt. George A. Vaughn Jr., 17th Aero Squadron

A biplane is a fixed-wing aircraft with two main wings. The first powered heavier-than-air aircraft, the Wright brothers' Wright Flyer, used a biplane design, as did most airplanes in the early years of aviation. While a biplane wing structure has a structural advantage, it produces more drag than a similar monoplane wing. Improved structural techniques and materials, and the need for greater speed, effectively made the biplane configuration obsolete for most purposes by the late 1930s. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 541 pixel Image in higher resolution (1800 × 1218 pixel, file size: 448 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) source: http://www. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 541 pixel Image in higher resolution (1800 × 1218 pixel, file size: 448 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) source: http://www. ... The Sopwith Camel Scout is a British First World War single-seat fighter aircraft that was famous for its maneuverability. ... Airplane and Aeroplane redirect here. ... For other uses, see Wing (disambiguation). ... Flying machine redirects here. ... The Wright brothers, Orville (August 19, 1871–January 30, 1948) and Wilbur (April 16, 1867–May 30, 1912), were two Americans generally credited with building the worlds first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and heavier-than-air human flight on December 17, 1903. ... The Wright Flyer (often retrospectively referred to as Flyer I and occasionally Kitty Hawk) was the first powered aircraft designed and built by the Wright brothers. ... Aviation encompasses all the activities relating to airborne devices created by human ingenuity, generally known as aircraft. ... A monoplane is an aircraft with one main set of wing surfaces, in contrast to a biplane or triplane. ...


The term is also occasionally used in biology, to describe the wings of some flying animals. Biology studies the variety of life (clockwise from top-left) E. coli, tree fern, gazelle, Goliath beetle Biology (from Greek: βίος, bio, life; and λόγος, logos, knowledge), also referred to as the biological sciences, is the study of living organisms utilizing the scientific method. ... The word wing or wings has more than one use: In aeronautics a wing is an apparatus used to create lift. ... A number of animals have evolved aerial locomotion, either by powered flight or by gliding. ...

Contents

Aviation

Rutan Quickie tandem wing biplane
Rutan Quickie tandem wing biplane

In a biplane aircraft, two wings are placed one above the other. Both provide a portion of the lift, although they are not able to produce twice as much lift as a single wing of similar planform. This is due to the fact that a wing's effect is imposed on a circular cylinder of air as the craft moves forward. In the case of the biplane, the upper wing's cylinder and the lower wing's cylinder are very nearly the same thing - they are working on nearly the same portion of the atmosphere. In a wing of aspect ratio 6, and a wing separation distance of one chord length, the biplane configuration can produce about 20 percent more lift than a single wing of the same planform.[1] In the biplane configuration, the lower wing is often attached to the fuselage, while the upper wing is raised above, although other combinations have occurred. Almost all biplanes also have a third horizontal surface, the tailplane, to control the pitch, or angle of attack of the aircraft (although there have been a few exceptions). Either or both of the main wings can support flaps or ailerons to assist lateral and speed control; usually the ailerons are mounted on the upper wing and flaps (if used) on the lower wing. Often there is bracing between the upper and lower wings, in the form of wires (tension members) and slender struts (compression members) positioned symmetrically on either side of the fuselage. A Quickie Q2 at the 2003 Arlington Fly-In. ... A Quickie Q2 at the 2003 Arlington Fly-In. ... A Quickie Q2 at the 2003 Arlington EAA Fly-In. ... The fuselage can be short, and seemingly unaerodynamic, as in this Christen Eagle 2 The fuselage (from the French fuselé spindle-shaped) is an aircrafts main body section that holds crew and passengers or cargo. ... Tailplane or horizontal stabilizer of a Boeing 737 A tailplane, also known as horizontal stabilizer, is a small lifting surface located behind the main lifting surfaces of a fixed-wing aircraft as well as other non-fixed wing aircraft such as helicopters and gyroplanes. ... In this diagram, the black arrow represents the direction of the wind. ... For the band with a similar name, see The Ailerons Ailerons are hinged control surfaces attached to the trailing edge of the wing of a fixed-wing aircraft. ... A strut is a structural component designed to resist longitudinal compression. ...


Variations on the biplane include the sesquiplane, where one wing (usually the lower) is significantly smaller than the other, either in span, chord, or both. Sometimes the lower wing is only large enough to support the bracing struts for the upper wing. The name means "one-and-a-half wings". Another (aerodynamically quite distinct) variation is the tandem wing airplane, which is an aircraft with one wing in front of the other (e.g. a wing in the nose and a wing in the tail). This is usually not considered a biplane, as the two planes are not near each other (relatively speaking). A tandem wing aircraft usually involves two full-sized wings, both of which are full airfoils. ...


Advantages and drawbacks to biplane designs

RAF BE2c biplane of 1915.

Aircraft built with two main wings (or three in a triplane) can usually lift up to 20% more than can a similarly sized monoplane of similar wingspan, so they are used when short wings are needed. Another advantage of biplane wings is that a given wing area requires a shorter wing span, which tends to afford greater maneuverability. The struts and wire bracing of a typical biplane form a box girder that permits a light but very strong wing structure. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1152x864, 305 KB) Summary Royal Aircraft Factory BE2c Serial Number 2699 at the Imperial War Museum London September 2005 Photograph taken by MilborneOne Licensing Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1152x864, 305 KB) Summary Royal Aircraft Factory BE2c Serial Number 2699 at the Imperial War Museum London September 2005 Photograph taken by MilborneOne Licensing Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU... cunt sauce? ... A triplane is a fixed-wing aircraft equipped with three sets of wings, each roughly the same size and mounted one above the other. ... A monoplane is an aircraft with one main set of wing surfaces, in contrast to a biplane or triplane. ... The distance AB is the wing span of this Aer Lingus Airbus A320. ... The Frecce Tricolori aerobatic team of the Italian Air Force, flying at the Royal International Air Tattoo, Fairford, England, in 2005 The UK Utterly Butterly display team perform an aerobatic maneuvre with their Boeing Stearmans Red Arrows Hawks in Concorde formation Indian Air Forces Surya Kiran during an aerobatic... Look up Girder in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


On the other hand there are many disadvantages to the configuration. Each wing negatively interferes with the aerodynamics of the other. For a given wing area the biplane produces more drag and less lift than a monoplane, but this effect can be reduced by placing one wing forward of the other. Placing one wing forward of the other is known as stagger. Forward stagger (where the upper wing is further forward) is most common, but backward stagger has also been used, notably in the Beechcraft Staggerwing. Excessive amounts of stagger distort the box girder effect of the wing - and this tends to reduce the structural benefits of the biplane layout. An object falling through a gas or liquid experiences a force in direction opposite to its motion. ... The lift force, lifting force or simply lift is a mechanical force generated by solid objects as they move through a fluid. ... 1943 Beech D.17S Staggerwing The Beechcraft Staggerwing is a biplane with, unusually, a backward stagger (the lower wing is further forward than the upper wing). ...

Boeing Stearman E75 (PT-13D) biplane of 1944
Boeing Stearman E75 (PT-13D) biplane of 1944
Antonov An-2 is one of the heaviest biplanes.
Antonov An-2 is one of the heaviest biplanes.

Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1669x1171, 850 KB) Boeing Stearman E75 (PT-13D) Kaydet, UK registration G-BSWC, at Keevil Airfield, Wiltshire, England. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1669x1171, 850 KB) Boeing Stearman E75 (PT-13D) Kaydet, UK registration G-BSWC, at Keevil Airfield, Wiltshire, England. ... WAVE in a Boeing Stearman N2S US Navy training aircraft. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 319 pixelsFull resolution‎ (1,280 × 510 pixels, file size: 309 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) An-2 photo by Radomil, 6 June 2005, Poznań File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 319 pixelsFull resolution‎ (1,280 × 510 pixels, file size: 309 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) An-2 photo by Radomil, 6 June 2005, Poznań File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that... The Antonov An-2 (Russian nickname: кукуру́зник kukuruznik - a kolkhoz maize worker (inherited from Polikarpov Po-2) also nicknamed Annushka; NATO code name Colt) is an extremely durable, light, single-engine biplane which first flew in 31 August 1947 and was first plane designed by Antonov. ...

History

Biplanes were most successful in the early days of aviation when the all wing structures needed to be strengthened by external bracing wires and struts. The first successful aircraft, the Wright Flyer, used wing warping as the means of roll control (ailerons had been envisioned as early as 1868 but had not been incorporated in the Wrights' design). The flexible wings required for this usage could not be counted on to support the craft's weight without external support, and the box-structure of the biplane layout provided the solution. Even after ailerons became common, the prevailing idea was that wings had to be very thin, like those of birds. Research by the US National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, along with other European aeronautical institutes, gradually proved that thicker wings were acceptable, and thus the box-structure advantage of the biplane configuration gradually waned in popularity. The adoption of monoplanes was greatly aided by the concurrent development of aluminum alloys, which provided sufficient strength without excessive weight. Modern biplane designs now exist only in specialist niche roles and markets such as aerobatics and agricultural aircraft. The Wright Flyer (often retrospectively referred to as Flyer I and occasionally Kitty Hawk) was the first powered aircraft designed and built by the Wright brothers. ... Wing warping was an early system for controlling the roll of an aeroplane while flying. ... Aileron location on a Piper PA-28. ... NACA official seal The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) was a U.S. federal agency founded on March 3, 1915 to undertake, promote, and institutionalize aeronautical research. ... Aluminum is a soft and lightweight metal with a dull silvery appearance, due to a thin layer of oxidation that forms quickly when it is exposed to air. ... The Frecce Tricolori aerobatic team of the Italian Air Force, flying at the Royal International Air Tattoo, Fairford, England, in 2005 The UK Utterly Butterly display team perform an aerobatic maneuvre with their Boeing Stearmans Red Arrows Hawks in Concorde formation Indian Air Forces Surya Kiran during an aerobatic... The Antonov An-2 was the first purpose-built agricultural arcraft to be mass-produced. ...


The vast majority of biplane designs have been fitted with reciprocating engines of comparatively low power; exceptions include the Antonov An-3 and WSK-Mielec M-15 Belphegor, fitted with turboprop and turbofan engines, respectively. Some older biplane designs, such as the Grumman Ag Cat and the aforementioned An-2 (in the form of the An-3) are available in upgraded versions with turboprop engines. Internal combustion piston engine Components of a typical, four stroke cycle, internal combustion piston engine. ... The Antonov An-3 is a Ukrainian agricultural aircraft designed during the Soviet Union era. ... The M-15 Belphegor is a jet agricultural aircraft, manufactured by WSK-Mielec in Poland for the USSR agricultural aviation. ... A schematic diagram showing the operation of a turboprop engine. ... Schematic diagram of high-bypass turbofan engine CFM56-3 turbofan, lower half, side view. ... The Grumman G-164 Ag Cat is a single-engine biplane agricultural aircraft, developed by Grumman in the 1950s. ...


Famous biplanes include the Sopwith Camel, Avro Tutor, Antonov An-2, Beechcraft Staggerwing, Boeing Stearman, Bristol Bulldog, Curtiss JN-4, de Havilland Tiger Moth, Fairey Swordfish, Hawker Hart, Pitts Special and the Wright Flyer. The Stearman is particularly associated with stunt flying with wing-walkers. Famous sesquiplanes include the Nieuport 17 and Albatros D.III. The Sopwith Camel Scout is a British First World War single-seat fighter aircraft that was famous for its maneuverability. ... The ‘’’Avro 621 Tutor’’’ is a two seat British training biplane from the interwar period. ... The Antonov An-2 (Russian nickname: кукуру́зник kukuruznik - a kolkhoz maize worker (inherited from Polikarpov Po-2) also nicknamed Annushka; NATO code name Colt) is an extremely durable, light, single-engine biplane which first flew in 31 August 1947 and was first plane designed by Antonov. ... 1943 Beech D.17S Staggerwing The Beechcraft Staggerwing is a biplane with, unusually, a backward stagger (the lower wing is further forward than the upper wing). ... WAVE in a Boeing Stearman N2S US Navy training aircraft. ... General History The Bristol Bulldog was a Royal Air Force (RAF) single-seat biplane fighter designed during the 1920s by the Bristol Aeroplane Company, with over three hundred Bulldogs produced, that arguably became the most famous aircraft during the RAFs inter-war period. ... 1st Aero Squadron on the Mexican US border, 1916 A veteran reconditioned Standard J-1, which is often confused with the Curtiss JN-4 Printed upside-down in error, the Curtiss JN-4 appears on a famous stamp; the stamp is known as the Inverted Jenny. The Curtiss JN-4... The de Havilland DH 82 Tiger Moth was a 1930s biplane designed by de Havilland and operated by the Royal Air Force and others as a primary trainer. ... Fairey Swordfish The Fairey Swordfish was a torpedo bomber built by the Fairey Aviation Company and used by the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy during World War II. Affectionately known as the Stringbag by its crews, it was outdated by 1939, but achieved some spectacular successes during the... The Hawker Hart was a two-seater biplane light-bomber of the Royal Air Force (RAF), which had a prominent role during the RAFs inter-war period. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The Nieuport 17 was a biplane fighter aircraft manufactured by Nieuport, and prominent during the World War I era. ... The Albatros D.III was a highly successful single seat, biplane fighter aircraft used by the Imperial German Army Air Service (Luftstreitkräfte) and the Austro-Hungarian Air Service (Luftfahrtruppen) during the First World War. ...


The biplane in avian evolution

In an interesting parallel to the role of the biplane in human aviation, some researchers have suggested that the feathered dinosaur Microraptor glided, and perhaps even flew, on four wings which were held in a biplane-like arrangement. This was made possible by the presence of flight feathers on both the forelimbs and hindlimbs of Microraptor, and it has been suggested that the earliest flying ancestors of birds may have possessed this morphology, with the monoplane arrangement of modern birds evolving later.[2] Sinornithosaurus by Jim Robins Feathered dinosaurs are regarded by many paleontologists as the missing link between birds and dinosaurs. ... Species (type) Xu et al, 2003 Microraptor (small thief) is a genus of small, dromaeosaurid dinosaur known from well-preserved fossil remains recovered from Liaoning, China, and dating from the early Cretaceous Period (Barremian stage), 130-125. ...


References

  1. ^ Airplane Aerodynamics, Dommasch and Lomb, 1961 ed.
  2. ^ Chatterjee S, Templin RJ (Jan 2007). "Biplane wing planform and flight performance of the feathered dinosaur Microraptor gui". Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 104 (5): 1576-80. PMID 17242354. 

See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Biplanes

Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... A monoplane is an aircraft with one main set of wing surfaces, in contrast to a biplane or triplane. ... A triplane is a fixed-wing aircraft equipped with three sets of wings, each roughly the same size and mounted one above the other. ... A tandem wing aircraft usually involves two full-sized wings, both of which are full airfoils. ...

Trivia

Ranaldos Moonlander, Yuri Landman, 2007 The Moonlander is a biheaded electric guitar with 18 strings, 6 normal strings and 12 sympathetic strings. ... An electric guitar An electric guitar is a type of guitar that uses pickups to convert the vibration of its steel-cored strings into electrical current, which is then amplified. ...

External links

  • Historical Collection of Biplane Pictures
  • Jacqui Hayes: Bird wings evolved from biplane dinosaurs COSMOS magazine

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