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Thread: Let's talk about biplanes

  1. #1

    Default Let's talk about biplanes

    Talking in the pits this year while watching the biplanes I learned that the top wing is required to be above the fuselage. I was also told the outer struts on Phantom are there for looks, but I haven't yet asked anyone from the team if that is true (kinda like the struts on the DR 1).

    This means the Curtiss Racer Jimmy Doolittle flew and that hangs in the Smithsonian is not legal in the biplane class.

    My point in bringing this up, is dang there are a lot of rules. I guess it is a "Sport" Biplane class rather than generic biplane class, but I was surprised. I'm not sure how Phantom made it through the cracks. Then you look across the hangar and see how new airframes are encouraged in IF1. I guess I'm just surprised there isn't more crossover in innovation since they are hangar neighbors.

    But, maybe I'm spoiled working in Sport, where we can do pretty much whatever we want.
    "young" Thomas

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    1,765

    Default Re: Let's talk about biplanes

    Quote Originally Posted by CubersWrist View Post
    Talking in the pits this year while watching the biplanes I learned that the top wing is required to be above the fuselage. I was also told the outer struts on Phantom are there for looks, but I haven't yet asked anyone from the team if that is true (kinda like the struts on the DR 1).

    This means the Curtiss Racer Jimmy Doolittle flew and that hangs in the Smithsonian is not legal in the biplane class.

    My point in bringing this up, is dang there are a lot of rules. I guess it is a "Sport" Biplane class rather than generic biplane class, but I was surprised. I'm not sure how Phantom made it through the cracks. Then you look across the hangar and see how new airframes are encouraged in IF1. I guess I'm just surprised there isn't more crossover in innovation since they are hangar neighbors.

    But, maybe I'm spoiled working in Sport, where we can do pretty much whatever we want.
    There was a split in the class back when airplanes like Becks's Sorceress were racing. The rules were tightened to make it more of a sport biplane vs full crazy race biplane class. The team that built Phantom did a great job of reading between the lines in the rule book.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Nashville
    Posts
    185

    Default Re: Let's talk about biplanes

    I was specifically told by "Tall Bob" [Phantom Crew Chief, and aircraft builder with Tom Aberle] last week that his I-struts were completely required on that plane. The difference is that Phantom was engineered to not need flying/landing wires.

    There is innovation happening within the Biplane Class, take a look at Jeff Rose's FB page for his new carbon concept. Also, the rules aren't really that burdensome when you actually read them. It's to keep planes that look like IF1 racers with a stub-second wing from claiming that they are a Biplane. Another rule that is post-Sorceress era is one that requires the top wing to be attached via a cabane set-up, versus from the fuselage (like Sorceress, Hyperbipe, Staggerwing, etc.). Tom Aberle and the Phantom crew designed Phantom completely within the current rules structure and I say hats-off to them. I have that same opportunity if I so chose, but I'll happily run slower with my more Pitts-like Pitts.

    Sam Swift
    Biplane #3
    Smokin' Hot™
    Biplane Race #3

  4. #4

    Default Re: Let's talk about biplanes

    Thanks Sam for clearing up the I-struts.

    Yes! I have seen pictures of Jeff's project, and I look forward to seeing it race.

    This precedes my time going to the races, but what were the problems with the IF1-pseudo-biplanes and Sorceress that the rules were changed to keep them from racing?

    Also is the Boomerang concept legal? Looking at the CAD renders it looks like it has a very short pylon for upper wing.
    Last edited by CubersWrist; 09-26-2018 at 04:19 PM.
    "young" Thomas

  5. #5

    Default Re: Let's talk about biplanes

    There's another hot biplane out there we haven't seen in several years.

    Anybody remember Miss Gianna?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    1,765

    Default Re: Let's talk about biplanes

    Quote Originally Posted by CubersWrist View Post
    Thanks Sam for clearing up the I-struts.

    Yes! I have seen pictures of Jeff's project, and I look forward to seeing it race.

    This precedes my time going to the races, but what were the problems with the IF1-pseudo-biplanes and Sorceress that the rules were changed to keep them from racing?

    Also is the Boomerang concept legal? Looking at the CAD renders it looks like it has a very short pylon for upper wing.
    The Boomerang design was declared legal and was going to be built. Then Karl Grove decided he wanted to go Sport Class racing instead of building it.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Let's talk about biplanes

    Let's not forget about the F1 X-wing racer this year

    Click image for larger version. 

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    May all your bent wings be F2G Corsairs!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Let's talk about biplanes

    By 1976 the Sport Biplane class, begun in 1964 by Bill Stead, was being referred to as the "Racing Biplane Class".

    There was a split in the class of course. Some thought the new Bips which had been arriving since the early 70s' led by Don Beck's "Sorceress" had gone too far. Others considered them a natural racing evolution of what had preceded them. After all, this was racing.

    Beck wasn't the only one with a "racing biplane" of course. He was joined by Tommy Thomas' "Miss Q" - which sadly represented the first fatality at Reno when Thomas had a massive heart attack on the opening lap of the Biplane championship race in 72'. There was also J.D. Hall's "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" and later, Sid White's "Sundancer" and Dave Forbes' "Cobra" to name a few.


    It's also worth noting that you could walk up and have a chat with multiple champion Tom Aberle this year (2018). You could also have done that in …. 1967.... when he subbed for Harwood Hellen in his Starduster in the last Saturday Biplane heat.


    Reno, like everything else goes through phases.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Nashville
    Posts
    185

    Default Re: Let's talk about biplanes

    Quote Originally Posted by kennsmithf2g View Post
    Let's not forget about the F1 X-wing racer this year

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Ha! That would be fun in a crosswind!
    Biplane Race #3

  10. #10

    Default Re: Let's talk about biplanes

    By 1976 the Sport Biplane class, begun in 1964 by Bill Stead, was being referred to as the "Racing Biplane Class".

    There was a split in the class of course. Some thought the new Bips which had been arriving since the early 70s' led by Don Beck's "Sorceress" had gone too far. Others considered them a natural racing evolution of what had preceded them. After all, this was racing.

    Beck wasn't the only one with a "racing biplane" of course. He was joined by Tommy Thomas' "Miss Q" - which sadly represented the first fatality at Reno when Thomas had a massive heart attack on the opening lap of the Biplane championship race in 72'. There was also J.D. Hall's "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" and later, Sid White's "Sundancer" and Dave Forbes' "Cobra" to name a few.

    It's also worth noting that you could walk up and have a chat with multiple champion Tom Aberle this year (2018). You could also have done that in …. 1967.... when he subbed for Harwood Hellen in his Starduster in the last Saturday Biplane heat.

    Reno, like everything else, goes through phases.

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