(List of Historic Biplane Aircraft)


Biplanes – trainers, fighters, bombers, and scouts, history, accomplishments, pictures, sounds, specifications and a scale rc airplane guide.

Technology has accounted for giant leaps in aviation design, yet the basics of aircraft design remain virtually the same since the first biplanes took to the sky.

The first biplanes to be used during combat were called “scouts”. Biplanes were primarily used for the observation of enemy forces over the horizon where the forces could not be seen by ground troops.

In 1914 the Royal Flying Corps manual declared that biplanes reconnaissance aircraft were so valuable that “each side will strive to prevent the other side making use of it.” That is what gave birth to fighter biplanes.

The biplanes of World War I played a crucial role in shaping future combat. Air superiority has been responsible for the winning of battles, and eventually wars.

During World War I, biplanes ruled the skies. Arming them was not an easy task. A bullet fired from one of their own weapons could severely damage a wooden propeller or wing strut. Initially pilots of biplanes and observers were armed with pistols and sometimes rifles. When the machine gun was mounted on early biplanes, it was not immediately successful. Low powered biplanes performance was severely taxed with the additional weight. As more powerful engines and sturdier biplanes entered service, the machine gun became the weapon of choice. By 1915, biplanes armed with one or two machine guns were used to attack enemy ground positions.

Eventually it was realized that the drag produced by two wings and their bracing greatly affected biplanes speed. By the end of World War I, engines became lighter and more powerful, and aircraft designers started favoring the monoplane. However, biplanes remained in service into World War II, and many continue flying today as trainers and recreation aircraft.

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Biplanes A

Versatile Czech biplanes deployed between the wars, used for attack and observation: Aero A.11

U.S. trainer biplanes built to easily switch from the use of wheels to pontoons. It made the first underway U.S. aircraft carrier landing on Oct. 26, 1922: Aeromarine 39B

U.S. Navy biplanes seaplanes used primarily after the First World War as trainers: Aeromarine Model 40F

Unusual configuration German biplanes used for observation during WW1: AGO C

German first War biplanes used for observation, which had dangerous handling issues: AGO C 4

Only Italian built fighter biplanes of World War I: Ansaldo A.1

Biplanes made in numerous variants during WW I: Albatros

Biggest one engine biplanes in the world today: Antonov An-2 Colt

First German production fighter biplanes produced after WW1: Arado Ar 64

In-line engine biplanes successor to the Ar 64: Arado Ar 65

Used to train Luftwaffe pilots from 1933 through 1944. No other German aircraft trained as many pilots. Beginning in 1943, some 2,000 were converted to night fighters. They carried out night missions into Finland, Latvia, and the Soviet Union, flying anti-personnel attack missions. Over 10,000 of all types were produced: Arado Ar 66

Among the top fighter biplanes ever to fly: Avia B.534

Biplanes B to C

Main RAF fighter biplanes between the wars: Bristol Bulldog

Smallest biplane: Starr Bumblebee II

Historians generally agree that they were the top overall biplanes of World War One: Martinsyde F.4 Buzzard

Observation biplanes produced by Germany during WW1: AEG C-IV

WW I biplanes that downed more enemy planes than any other aircraft: Sopwith Camel

U.S. Navy biplanes used for reconnaissance between the wars: Vought O2U Corsair Biplanes

The final fighter biplanes ever made: Fiat CR.42

Biplanes D

Austrian-Hungarian stagger wing biplanes used as a primary fighter through mid 1917: Hansen-Brandenburg D1

German biplanes originally deployed over Bavaria: Pfalz D.III

British primary trainer for thousands of pilots, first  flown in 1931, some 250 still flying today:  de Havilland Tiger Moth

One of the top single engine bomber biplanes of World War One: de Havilland DH-4

Airliner biplanes that first flew in 1934. Some still fly today: De Havilland DH-89 Dragon Rapide

U.S. amphibian biplanes first deployed in 1934 that flew for the military throughout WW II: Grumman Duck

Biplanes F

U.S. fighter bomber biplanes deployed between the wars: Curtiss Falcon

First biplanes of the new RAF in 1918: Bristol F.2 Fighter

First Grumman built U.S. Navy fighter biplanes:  F3F

Final U.S. fighter biplanes made from wood: Boeing F4B

First successful French biplanes designed by Gabriel Voisin to complete a circle piloted by Henri Farman: Farman 1

First ever fighter biplanes: Vickers FB 5 Gunbus

The top German fighter biplanes of World War I: Fokker D.VII

First RAF fighters able to exceed 200 mph:  Hawker Fury

Biplanes G to P

Germany’s main twin engine bomber biplanes of WW I:  Gotha Bomber

Biplanes with two engines, used as a bomber by Germany during World War I: AEG G-IV

Fastest British biplanes when introduced: Gloster Gauntlet

Final RAF fighter biplanes: Gloster Gladiator

Main German fighter biplanes between the wars: Heinkel He-51

One of the world’s best fighter bomber biplanes that saw action in WW II: Henschel 123

Soviet ground attack biplanes used into WW II: Polikarpov I-15 Chaika

Between the war biplanes fighter aircraft which set speed records:  Curtiss P-6 Hawk

Biplanes N to R

First dedicated Allied WW I fighter sesquiplane biplanes: Nieuport 11

One of the favorite flying aces biplanes of World War One: Nieuport 17

World War I biplanes flown by the American Expeditionary Force: Nieuport 28

High performance biplanes often seen at airshows today: Pitts Special

Primary biplanes of the Royal Navy in 1916: Sopwith Pup

German biplanes used as bombers with four engines driving one propeller: Linke-Hoffman R.II

Biplanes S

Russia’s four engine biplanes used as WW1 strategic bombers: Sikorsky S-21 Ilya Muromits

Last U.S. Navy dive bomber biplanes: Curtiss SBC Helldiver

German biplanes copy of a French design deployed at the end of World War One: Siemens Schukert

Early WW1 biplanes used for observation and as a fighter: Scout

The top English fighter biplanes of World War I: Royal Aircraft Factory SE5A

First RAF all-metal fighter biplanes used between the wars: Armstrong Whitworth Siskin

RAF biplanes that were deployed just prior to the end of World War One: Sopwith Snipe

The top French fighter biplanes of World War I: SPAD XIII

Set a number of single engine biplanes speed records: Beech Staggerwing

U.S. trainer biplanes used before and during WW II: Boeing Stearman

First English biplanes with a machine gun firing through the propeller arc: Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter

Modern biplanes recreational amphibians, sold as kits or ultralites: Super Petrel

RAF torpedo bomber biplanes that was used throughout World War II: Fairey Swordfish

Biplanes V to W

RAF twin engine bomber biplanes deployed between the wars: Vickers Vimy

General aviation biplanes produced from 1919 to 1947: Waco biplanes

First powered biplanes to fly under pilot control: Wright Flyer

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