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Old 03-23-2012, 07:04 AM   #1
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Default Difference in flying characteristic of single wing & Biplanes?

I just bought a ARF Biplane to build mainly because its such a handsome scale airframe, but I was wondering what to expect as far as flight characteristics compared to my current single wing Piper Cub J-3? Both are about the same wingspan (50") but the Bipe has about 1/2 the wingloading of the J-3.

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Old 03-23-2012, 09:26 AM   #2
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Thats an impossible question to answer for sure. A lot depends on the exact model you have. The same size J3 from two different mfg's could fly very differently.

Setup (CG, throws, expo settings, decolage, how straight the model was built, etc) and trimming (CG, up/down thrust, etc) have a lot to do with it too. Any plane can be setup to the mild side or the wild side and there can be a very large difference in how the model flys.

So, there is no way to know for sure until you try it.

I can tel you that there are a few very general things that bipes tend to have in common - but not all by any means.

They tend to be shorter coupled than mono planes which makes them faster responding to control inputs. They can be twitchy on the sticks and will likely roll, yaw and pitch faster.

The extra drag makes them bleed off speed faster when power is off. In other words, they usually dont glide for crap

But like I said, with minor changes in things like CG, trim, decolage, up/down thrust, etc - to the bipe and the cub, they could trade places as far as how they handle.

So the bipe might easily be a kitty cat compared to the cub - or it could be a wild beast

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Old 03-23-2012, 09:54 AM   #3
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More lift and more drag. The shorter wings provide a shorter roll moment so they are usually very responsive when rolling. If your model has ailerons on both wings, I would start out with very low rates. Also, don't engage in dead stick landings. As mentioned above, they aren't gliders. You need to fly them onto the ground. Personally, I love to fly biplanes.

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Old 03-23-2012, 07:24 PM   #4
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Yeah, watching my dads pitts land on battery cuttoff, it basically drops straight down and then flares hard on landing. One thing I did like about it, is its almost half the sie wingspan of a similar plane because you have twice the wings.
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:52 PM   #5
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Default Wingloading info......

It's funny but there seem to be some similarities to weight and wing surface area in an airframe as there is to weight and waterline length on a sailboat, both have an airfoil and in a similar respect the added wing area and increased sail area create more lift and power. Thanks for all the helpful information I am starting to understand the size of the learning curve here!

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Old 03-29-2012, 06:02 PM   #6
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Most bipes tend to rotate after takeoff and point nose up, risking a stall/crash. You can help by using 3/4 throttle and let it lift off when ready with little or no up-elevator and be ready with gentle down-elevator input if needed. Use nudges of right rudder during take-off run to control veering left. For landings, reduce speed to around 1/2 throttle, trim for level flight, keep banks shallow and line up with runway, reduce power gradually until touch down on main wheels, reduce throttle until tail settles and give up elevator to keep tail wheel on ground as it slows further. Rudder remains effective for levelling wings, ailerons and elevator lose effectiveness at slow speeds during landings. Don't slow too much for landings, bipes have more drag with two wings, etc. than monoplanes and need air flowing over tail surfaces.

Most low-time RC'ers with warbird experience want to pour on the coal and give up elevator for takeoffs, cut throttle and use elevator for landings. Not advisable with most bipes.
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