Biplane vs. Monoplane

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Biplane and Monoplane is that the Biplane is a airplane wing configuration with two vertically stacked main flying surfaces and Monoplane is a fixed-wing aircraft with a single main wing plane

  • Biplane

    A biplane is a fixed-wing aircraft with two main wings stacked one above the other. The first powered, controlled aeroplane to fly, the Wright Flyer, used a biplane wing arrangement, as did many aircraft in the early years of aviation. While a biplane wing structure has a structural advantage over a monoplane, it produces more drag than a similar unbraced or cantilever monoplane wing. Improved structural techniques, better materials and the quest for greater speed made the biplane configuration obsolete for most purposes by the late 1930s.

    Biplanes offer several advantages over conventional cantilever monoplane designs: they permit lighter wing structures, low wing loading and smaller span for a given wing area. However, interference between the airflow over each wing increases drag substantially, and biplanes generally need extensive bracing, which causes additional drag.

    Biplanes are distinguished from tandem wing arrangements, where the wings are placed forward and aft, instead of above and below.

    The term is also occasionally used in biology, to describe the wings of some flying animals.

  • Monoplane

    A monoplane is a fixed-wing aircraft with a single main wing plane, in contrast to a biplane or other multiplane, each of which has multiple planes.

    A monoplane has inherently the highest efficiency and lowest drag of any wing configuration and is the simplest to build. However, during the early years of flight, these advantages were offset by its greater weight and lower manoeuvrability, making it relatively rare until the 1930s. Since then, the monoplane has been the most common form for a fixed-wing aircraft.

  • Biplane (adjective)

    having, or consisting of, two superposed planes, aerocurves, etc.

    “a biplane rudder”

  • Biplane (noun)

    an airplane that has two main wings, one above the other and supported by struts

  • Monoplane (noun)

    An airplane that has a single pair of wings

  • Monoplane (verb)

    To fly in a monoplane.


Leave a Comment