biplane

/buy"playn'/, n.
an airplane with two sets of wings, one above and usually slightly forward of the other.
[1870-75; BI-1 + (AIR)PLANE]

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 airplane with two wings, one above the other. In the 1890s this configuration was adopted for some successful piloted gliders. The Wright brothers' biplanes (1903–09) opened the era of powered flight. Biplanes predominated in military and commercial aviation from World War I through the early 1930s, but the biplane's greater maneuverability could not offset the speed advantage of the lighter monoplane. After World War II, biplanes were used only for special purposes: crop dusting and sport (aerobatic) flying.

      In the mid-1930s Adolf Busemann proposed the supersonic biplane, having a quite narrow gap (space between wings) in which expansion waves and shock waves would interact to reduce drag (the “shape drag” due to the thickness of the airfoil sections). A biplane having one much smaller wing (usually the lower) is called a sesquiplane. A few triplane designs proved successful during World War I; powered aircraft with four or more main lifting surfaces have never been more than curiosities.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Biplane — Bi plane, a. (A[ e]ronautics) Having, or consisting of, two superposed planes, a[ e]rocurves, or the like; of or pertaining to a biplane; as, a biplane rudder. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Biplane — Bi plane, n. [Pref. bi + plane.] (A[ e]ronautics) An a[ e]roplane with two main supporting surfaces one above the other. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • biplane — (n.) airplane with two full wings, one above the other, 1874, as a theoretical notion; first attested 1908 in reference to the real thing; from BI (Cf. bi ) + PLANE (Cf. plane) (n.1). So called from the two planes of the double wings …   Etymology dictionary

  • biplane — ► NOUN ▪ an early type of aircraft with two pairs of wings, one above the other …   English terms dictionary

  • biplane — [bī′plān΄] n. an airplane with two sets of wings, one above the other …   English World dictionary

  • Biplane — 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 aircraft in the early years of aviation. While a biplane wing structure has… …   Wikipedia

  • biplane — UK [ˈbaɪˌpleɪn] / US noun [countable] Word forms biplane : singular biplane plural biplanes an old fashioned type of plane with two sets of wings …   English dictionary

  • biplane — [[t]ba͟ɪpleɪn[/t]] biplanes N COUNT A biplane is an old fashioned type of aeroplane with two pairs of wings, one above the other …   English dictionary

  • biplane — dvisparnis lėktuvas statusas T sritis Kūno kultūra ir sportas apibrėžtis Lėktuvas su dvigubais sparnais, įtaisytais per tam tikrą atstumą vienas virš kito. atitikmenys: angl. biplane vok. Doppeldecker, m rus. биплан …   Sporto terminų žodynas

  • biplane — noun Date: 1874 an aircraft with two main supporting surfaces usually placed one above the other …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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