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Suggest me a biplane

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Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Jun 12, 2007
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Seattle, WA
Ok, so I've danced around with the whole question of what I want to build, and I still don't have an answer. I think maybe I'm thinking about this too hard, so I have a request. Given the following list of priorities (in descending order of importance), which biplane suggests itself?

* Big enough to carry 2 250 lb, 6' folks plus fuel enough to fly for an hour or two
* Designed around a commonly-available aero engine, like a C90 or Lyc O-235
* Not too challenging to build (so I might stand a chance of finishing it)
* Relatively efficient (6 or less gph, 100-ish mph cruise, 800+ fpm climb solo)
* Buildable for under about $25k including engine and Mode C equipment
* Might remind you of planes built in the 20s-40s

As my sig suggests, the Ragwing Special II and Fisher Tiger Moth are the designs I'm seriously considering, but the Ragwing is plans-built (therefore I'm unlikely to finish it, at least statistically), and the Fisher is no longer produced. The Sherwood Ranger is a pretty dream, but doesn't look like it's available in reality. If the Fisher were definitely available, it'd be my choice.

What does that leave? Hatz? I'm not sure. I don't want a big, heavy-engine acro bipe (although I'd take +/-9g stressing if I just had to
). I was fixated on all-wood designs, but maybe that's too limiting. I was fixated on super light-weight, but that seems to leave the passenger seat allowable weight pretty limited, and if I can't take my (250 lb) Dad up, I will be displeased. Run-out aero engines seem like a good deal, because I can definitely rebuild an engine, and that size/weight also allows the Rotec 2800 and Corvair.

I'd love to get opinions from you folks who know biplanes much better than I do.


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