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CUSTOM BIPLANE AIRCRAFT STORY from Aircraft Spruce
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CUSTOM BIPLANE AIRCRAFT STORY

Custom Biplane
Here in Ohio we have a custom biplane underway. The airframe is modeled after the Stearman biplane, and is approximately 80% size. The engine is a stock 225hp Lycoming R680.

While most of the fuselage and wing structure is in keeping with the Stearman design, there are influences in design and construction methods from many experimentals incorporated. Many changes were made to construct the plane with flat fittings in place of the castings used on the stock plane. Also cost and simplicity have influenced the wing build. For example, the wings are cross-braced using rods that pass thru the spar and are braced against maple blocks as found in Pitts or Skybolt experimentals. This eliminated the use of 64 clevis's and the fittings they attach to.

Safety in operation and ease of maintenance have been considered in the selection of some parts. For example, the 1940's Hayes wheels and brakes have been given up for a set of Cleveland wheels and brakes from a C310. I'd like to travel far from home with this plane and parts availability is important.

In some areas that make a Stearman unique it is a goal to acheive a level of authenticity. The tailwheel is one of these areas and it will feature a trunion, strut and knuckle in scale and will include the use of a smooth contour tire. There is much work left to do and much to learn in the process, but i plan to enjoy the build and the end result. Thanks to Aircraft Spruce for the great service and materials they've provided.

Dan Johnson
Columbus Ohio