So, does anyone know what are the advantages/disadvantages of biplanes over monoplanes?
Astronuc said:The advantages way back when (1900-1930's) was the having twice the surface area and a stiff structure. Remember they had wooden frames, and the first models were held together with wire. The structural alloys introduced during the early years of WW II were not available in years prior. Although Louis Bleriot introduced the first monoplane in 1906, there was limited production, and the Spad (biplane) was considered far superior.
The early monoplanes were fine in straight flight, but severe stresses (high speed turns and banking) during dogfighting would be too much for the wing.
The major disadvantage is the greater drag associated with two wings, and any wires and struts.
See - http://www.centennialofflight.gov/essay/Aerospace/Bleriot/Aero47.htm [Broken]
If you look at early models, the wings were about 6 feet apart or so. A man could stand up between them. I believe that separation was reduced. The airflow is only affected within a few inches of the wing surface. I imagine it was trial and error back then, more experiment than theory. I haven't delved into the detail of aircraft design back then.sid_galt said:Wouldn't the two wings interfere with each other and reduce lift? What are equations aerodynamicists use to determine optimum placement for the two wings?
The wings aren't close enough to establish a venturi effect. A higher angle of attack would increase the drag. The lift on the wings is by the same principle as a single wing.sid_galt said:I was wondering, if the top wing was made at a slightly higher angle of attack than the bottom one and the bottom wing had its leading edge someplace after the top wing's leading edge, wouldn't the airflow have been faster over the bottom wing due to the venturi effect?
Would this have increased performance?