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Thread: Thoughts on a new biplane design?

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    Registered User cluttonfred's Avatar
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    Thoughts on a new biplane design?

    Thanks to the Hatz thread and other factors, Iíve got biplanes on the brain right now. I believe that a well-designed, open-cockpit biplane with classic lines will always have a place in homebuilding because of the association with WWI and the Golden Age. What would the HBA crowd like to see in a new biplane design? Power? Seats? Construction? Style?

    Personally, I think that there are already enough big LyCosaur-powered aerobatic and sport biplanes out there and we could use more LSA or even European microlight biplanes for getting your goggles-and-scarf groove on for a lot less money than a Pitts or Starduster or what have you. Yes, there is the Hatz LSA and the Kieblitz from Germany and Sherwood Ranger from the UK, but itís not a long list.

    I could see a light, simple, affordable, two-seat sport biplane having great appeal, say 80-100 hp with a lighter microlight model and a heavier LSA version, not a replica but channeling classic biplane style. Here are a couple of possible inspirations: the timeless DH60 Cirrus Moth, the airy Leopoldoff Colibri, and the Javelin Wichawk for its side-by-side open cockpit.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Letís hear your thoughts!

    Cheers,

    Matthew
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    ę Voici ce que j'ai fait...vous pouvez en faire autant! Ľ
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    Re: Thoughts on a new biplane design?

    Why not another classic, the Currie Wot, flew with the JAP in the beginning, and later even the Rover turboprop, seems to cover all options for single seat.

    If you want 2 seats the Hawker Cygnet drawings are around. Good starting point?

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    Registered User fly2kads's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on a new biplane design?

    The idea of a modestly-powered, classically-styled biplane occupies an outsized portion of my airplane obsessed brain. I like the idea of being able to cruise around with a friend, low and slow, in vintage style. There are two ideas that I keep coming back to:
    1. An all-wood biplane with the simple, boxy lines of the Pietenpol. In my vision, the fuselage is ply skinned, de Havilland style. I see this one as powered by an O-200 or Corvair. Quickie sketch below:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    2. A steel tube / wood wing biplane in the style of many "commercial" biplanes of the late 1920s. (The Hatz would look modern in comparison.) Think along the lines of American Eagle, Fairchild KR-34 (pictured below), or Waco 10. I think a Honda Fit motor with one of the Air Trikes PSRUs could be cowled to look something like an OX-5.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I had originally conceived of these concepts as being LSA compliant. With the advent of Basic Med in the USA, that may be less of a concern.

    Aerobatic capability is way down the priority list here, although I could see basic loop and roll maneuvers being executed when flown solo.

    For a single seater, I agree that the Currie Wot would be an excellent place to start. The LAA plans set even includes drawings for a VW engine mount! A larger displacement VW could do the trick. Pete Plumb's O-100 would also work well, about the same weight as the JAP, but with much more power.

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    Registered User bmcj's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on a new biplane design?

    Though these are all single seat, I’d look at the Skyote, Stolp V-Star, Der Jager, and Flitzer biplane for further inspiration.

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    Re: Thoughts on a new biplane design?

    Where are the Hawker Cygnet drawings? Are they through the factory as the old Sopwith ones were or are these floating around the internet? It is a neat plane from a cool contest which is why I am asking.

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    Re: Thoughts on a new biplane design?

    Fisher has, I believe, five biplane designs. There's the FP-404 I had and the "Classic" 2 seat version, the larger Celebrity, and their Tiger Moth replica and the Yougnster.
    Hatz CB-1 Biplane
    Starduster SA-100 rebuild project for sale
    Fisher FP-404 (sold)
    ParaFan PPG (dormant project)
    Kolb Ultrastar (sold)

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    Re: Thoughts on a new biplane design?

    "I could see a light, simple, affordable, two-seat sport biplane having great appeal, say 80-100 hp with a lighter microlight model and a heavier LSA version,"


    Sounds like the Sherwood Ranger.

    http://www.g-tlac.com/sherwood-ranger/

    Tube and gusset, and intriguing wing design.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgQLCLIzfS0

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    Re: Thoughts on a new biplane design?

    The description text to that video does put me off a little, as does the elaborate steel wing jig.

    Sherwood Ranger XP Aero wing ribs being bonded to the main and drag spar, video shows application of special 2 part structural epoxy which contains a form of rubber to resist shock loading. All aluminium components have been corrosion proofed with a non toxic non hexavalent chromium treatment, thorough degreasing of metalwork is essential, along with scuff preparation of the GL1 plywood ribs. Careful attention of rib to tube clearances is critical ensuring enough of a gap to allow the adhesive to bond but not too much to create a adhesive rich area, air bubbles must also be eliminated.

    Quote Originally Posted by WBNH View Post
    Tube and gusset, and intriguing wing design.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgQLCLIzfS0
    Last edited by cluttonfred; September 3rd, 2018 at 01:32 PM.
    *******
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    A site for builders, owners and fans of Eric Clutton's FRED and other safe, simple, affordable homebuilt aircraft

    ę Voici ce que j'ai fait...vous pouvez en faire autant! Ľ
    "This is what I have done...you can do the same!"
    --Henri Mignet (1893-1965)

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    Re: Thoughts on a new biplane design?

    There have been at least two Cygnet replicas built in the UK. BAe have stopped giving out drawings for liaility reasons But many are already out in the wild. The Cygnets are beautiful little planes.

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    Re: Thoughts on a new biplane design?

    Thanks for the info. There appear to be a couple of plans-built Cygnets out there.

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    Re: Thoughts on a new biplane design?

    You guys have the single and two-seaters well-covered, but what about the 3 - 5 seater biplanes that were popular with barnstormers? New Standard D-25 carried up to 4 passengers in an enlarged front cockpit. Weld on a ladder and add a side-door for easy boarding and your could haul more than 100 sight-seers per day!
    Last edited by Riggerrob; September 3rd, 2018 at 02:05 PM. Reason: Spelling

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    Registered User Tiger Tim's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on a new biplane design?

    Quote Originally Posted by Riggerrob View Post
    You guys have the single and two-seaters well-covered, but what about the 3 - 5 seater biplanes that were popular with barnstormers? New Standard D-25 carried up to 4 passengers in an enlarged front cockpit. Weld on a ladder and add a side-door for easy boarding and your could haul more than 100 sight-seers per day!
    The D-25 practically is a homebuilt. The fuselage is extruded aluminum angle riveted together, wings are all wood, and the tail is a mix of wood and aluminum truss. The trailing edge of the wing is low enough to the ground that a small step stool is plenty to climb in and the front hole has a large step on the side of the fuselage to aid getting in and out. About the only thing that could make it easier for you and me to make is to have un-tapered wings, but then it would just look like an Ag Cat.

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    Re: Thoughts on a new biplane design?

    Quote Originally Posted by cluttonfred View Post
    What would the HBA crowd like to see in a new biplane design?
    I think the real question might be to ask what hasn't been done yet. I bet if we put our heads together we could find fifty different homebuilt biplane designs of very approachable classic construction that you can get plans for right now, today. What popular features could possibly be missing from such a list?

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    Re: Thoughts on a new biplane design?

    Quote Originally Posted by Riggerrob View Post
    You guys have the single and two-seaters well-covered, but what about the 3 - 5 seater biplanes that were popular with barnstormers? New Standard D-25 carried up to 4 passengers in an enlarged front cockpit. Weld on a ladder and add a side-door for easy boarding and your could haul more than 100 sight-seers per day!
    I thought he was hinting at the LSA category.

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    Re: Thoughts on a new biplane design?

    A biplane is the easiest airplane to personalize. Change wing tips, tail shape, deck and you have your own airplane. Gear options; stock or Grove aluminum changes it up. Almost nothing will change the performance enough to matter if you keep the wings where they are supposed to be along with the tail and engine. Biplanes like all homebuilts don't build themselves. It takes a little more effort to build another wing and buy flying wires. Funny thing about biplanes, everyone wants to try one on. The most hot shot pilot will stop and look at one; most planes they usually just walk on by.

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