Giant Super Sportster Bipe page
Update 7-8-01: IT Flies!!
Updated 7-22-01: 2nd one flies!
Updated 8-25-2003 - 2 Years and still flying ;)

I have enjoyed the Super Sportster series of planes. I have flown every size that Great Planes made except for the 1.20 size. One of my favorites was the Super Sportster Bipe. I flew mine for years until a battery wire failure destroyed the plane. I always wanted another one, but really wanted something bigger.

So, talking with my flying buddy, Byron, we decided that a Giant Scale Super Sportster would be fun to design, build and fly. We would both build one and split up some of the work. So I fired up my CAD program and in a week or so, had some basic plans. Byron started right away as I worked on some of the plan details. The goal is for something that will perform well, but be easy to fly. Also will try to simplify the assembly and wing attachment.

Pictures with * Click on image for large picture . Use browser back to return.

* Specifications:

Wingspan: 65 inches (Symmetrical airfoil.)
Power: 42 to 52cc gas.
Length: 61"
Weight: 15-19 lbs.
Wing Area: 1475 sq/in
Wing loading: 26 oz/sq ft

* Byron's bipe is all but ready.
* 7-7-01. First Flight of Byron's. Flew well but ailerons were a bit too small for good roll rate.

* The first landing. Came in nice and slow. Plane has light wing loading and good speed range. Real stable and easy to fly. Q-52 pulls it real well.

Notice "body english" used to level wings on landing.

* 7-20-01 Mine is even closer to ready! Hopefully will fly 7-22-01.
   * 5 rolls of covering. Just have to finish covering tail.
 * Will be easy to tell top/bottom.
* 7-21-01. Ready to fly.
 * 7-22-01It flies! This is an "after" picture
   Crash Test Dummy for pilot. After 2 crshes, seemes very appropriate.

On 7-7-01 Byron made 4 flights. Takeoff was smooth and then needed just a little trim. I flew it a bit. Looks like it will do what we want. On the fourth flight, engine died on rough touch and go and it dropped hard into the tall grass. Landing gear was broken loose but no major damage. On 7-8-01, Byron returned with gear fixed and larger ailerons. Roll rate is now good and we are starting to wring it out and see what it can do. It seems to accomplish our goal for a relatively quick build, fun to fly, easy to transport and set up at the field. The Sportster airfoil is perfect for either slow or fast flight and inverted flight is smooth. I flew it some more on Sunday. Just real fun. Does wild tumbles, real smooth, lands like a trainer.

On 7-22-01 I flew the second one. Flies real well but needed a good bit of down trim. Could use a bit more power, but was still lots of fun. Five long flights with no problems. Engine is still breaking in so will get better. All landings were real slow and smooth. It flies a bit tail-heavy, so it tends to wallow around. But that makes it much more fun to do snaps and tumbles. Will probably fly it every weekend as it is so much fun.

Update 8-25-03:

Still flying the SS Bipe after 2 years. Have had two fatal crashes due to switch failure and elevator flutter (flutter was due to cheap servos.) Both crashes broke wings in half and bent shaft on Q-42. It is looking a bit ragged, hopefully I'll recover it. On the second rebuild, I replaced the struts with a simpler and stronger U-shaped aluminum flat stock. I was able to eliminate the holes in the top of the wing for a cleaner look.

Flying is easy and it does not have any stability problems. The swept wing adds a lot of rudder-roll coupling, so knife edges are difficult. But this is not a 3D plane. One of the fun things to do is put it in a hover position, then switch sticks to an inverted snap position. It will do basically a rolling circle but as a snap roll.

Now broken in, the Q-42 pulls well. It will almost hover. But the Q-42 is showing its age (crash damage and it sucked up the screw that holds the butterfly in.) So I have just now switched to a Poulan-Pro 50cc with C&H Ignition. Now it really flies nice. Almost unlimited vertical.

This plane is just fun and a real crowd pleaser. I will add smoke next :).

Plans are available.

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