EAA Biplane

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EAA Biplane
EAA Biplane.jpg
EAA Biplane on display @ EAA Museum
Role 2nd EAA Project Schoolflight plane built
Manufacturer Robert D. Blacker & his students @ St. Rita HS
Designer Allison Team & Robert Blacker
First flight 10 June 1960

The EAA Biplane (Serial # N6077V), an enduring emblem of the Experimental Aircraft Association since 1960, is a recreational aircraft that was designed in the United States and marketed as plans for home-built aircraft.[1] The EAA Biplane is on permanent display at the EAA Aviation Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.[2]

Design and development[edit]

A preliminary design was produced for the EAA by a team of Allison engineers led by EAA member Jim D. Stewart in 1955.[3] This team took the Gere Sport of the 1930s as their starting point and eventually developed a completely new design which also incorporated several 'as-built' design changes made by Robert D. Blacker (5/2/26 - 8/3/88), the plane's builder and one of its test pilots.[4] The 'as-built' design changes included a +2 degree of dihedral to the upper wing, redesign of the horizontal stabilizer, installation of a diagonal brace at Stations 2 and 3, a change to the fuselage truss assembly, strengthening of the control column support, and an ingenious ball-bearing arrangement was created by Blacker, etc.[5][6] It is a single-seat biplane of conventional configuration, with staggered, single-bay equal-span wings braced with N-struts. The undercarriage is of fixed tailwheel type. The fuselage is fabric-covered welded steel tube, and the wings fabric-covered wood. Plans for the biplane remained available until 1972, by which time some 7,000 sets of the final "as-built" Plans had been sold.

This prototype EAA  Biplane was built by Blacker and his apprentice students at St. Rita of Cascia High School in Chicago, IL as the 2nd airplane completed within EAA's Project Schoolflight[7] which began in 1955 when that project was co-founded by both Blacker and EAA founder, Paul Poberenzy.[4][8] Project Schoolflight was designed to bring hands-on aircraft construction directly to students in their classrooms and into their school's Industrial Arts shops[9][10][11] This EAA Biplane project began in September 1957 and culminated in the aircraft's first flight in June, 1960.[12][8] To keep the EAA membership abreast of the construction progress during the EAA Biplane build project, Blacker authored several "EAA Biplane Progress Reports" published in EAA's Sport Aviation magazines (nee:Experimenter) through out the project.[13][14][15][16] Blacker put the EAA Biplane's work-in-progress bare fuselage as a 'static' display at EAA's 1958 Fly-In where his work on the EAA Biplane coupled with his complete body of work in Project Schoolflight garnered him the most coveted award in the EAA: The Mechanix Illustrated Trophy for "Outstanding Achievement in Home-Built Aircraft"[17] (See MI trophy photo herein). Paul Poberezny and Stan Dzik, also a co-founder of EAA, presented Blacker this first Short Snorter[18] in EAA history in honor of his EAA Biplane build efforts. This EAA Biplane made its official debut to EAA members at the 1961 Rockford, IL Fly-In.[3]

ABOUT THE EAA BIPLANE BUILDER : During World War 2 Robert D. Blacker served at Roswell Army Airfield in New Mexico (1945 - 1946) as a B-29 Flight Engineer. From November 1945 thru April 1946, the ENOLA GAY was one of the airships he was responsible for. In 1951 Mr. Blacker, a Lewis College Certified Aircraft Mechanic since 1947, started the Aviation Industrial Arts Program at St. Rita of Cascia High School in Chicago, Il. and in 1955, Mr. Blacker earned his Civil Aeronautics Administration designation as an Aviation Safety Examiner/Aircraft Mechanic Examiner (see photo of 2 certificates). That same year Mr. Blacker co-founded EAA's Project Schoolflight with EAA founder Paul Poberezny.[7]

In 1958, Mr. Blacker authored "Basic Aeronautical Science and Principles of Flight" [19][20] that was used as a aeronautical training book via the U.S. Air Force Institute. The book reached world-wide circulation through many libraries. A copy is currently registered in the EAA library at Oshkosh, WI. Mr. Blacker and his St. Rita High School Aviation classes had previously completed the first airplane through EAA's Project Schoolflight - a Baby Ace named "Spirit of Cascia" - a winner of  EAA's Outstanding Achievement in Aviation Education in 1957.[21]

Specifications (typical)[edit]

Data from [22]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 17 ft 0 in (5.18 m)
  • Wingspan: 20 ft 0 in (6.10 m)
  • Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
  • Wing area: 108 sq ft (10.0 m2)
  • Empty weight: 710 lb (322 kg)
  • Gross weight: 1,150 lb (522 kg)
  • Fuel capacity: 18 US gal (15 imp gal; 68 L)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Continental C85 air-cooled flat-four engine, 85 hp (63 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 125 mph (201 km/h, 109 kn) at sea level
  • Cruise speed: 110 mph (180 km/h, 96 kn) (econ. cruise)
  • Stall speed: 50 mph (80 km/h, 43 kn)
  • Range: 350 mi (560 km, 300 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 11,500 ft (3,500 m)
  • Rate of climb: 1,000 ft/min (5.1 m/s)


  1. ^ "All these planes you can build from plans". Popular Science. June 1970. p. 99.
  2. ^ Poberenzy, Paul (March 2002). "Homebuilding's Heritage". Sport Aviation. March Issue: 72 – via EAA.org. PHOTO: Paul Poberezny in the original EAA Biplane built by Robert D. Blacker & Project Schoolflight at St. Rita's High School.
  3. ^ a b Poberezny, Paul (September 1961). "The EAA Biplane". Sport Aviation. September: 4 – via EAA.org.
  4. ^ a b Poberezny, Bonnie (1996). Poberezny : the story begins--. Chuck Parnall ([Signature ed.] ed.). Oshkosh, Wis.: Red One Pub. pp. 329–330. ISBN 0-9655654-0-8. OCLC 36703839. The new airplane being constructed.....EAA Biplane.....
  5. ^ Blacker, Robert D (March 1958). "Progress Report on the EAA Biplane". Sport Aviation. March Issue: 24 – via EAA.org.
  6. ^ Cole, Duane (2002). This is EAA. Milwaukee, Wi: Ken Cook TransNational. pp. P 89. Bob Blacker......taken on the project of building the EAA Biplane project in 1957.
  7. ^ a b Blacker, Bob (March 1983). "SCHOOLFLIGHT- It Really Works". Sport Aviation. March Issue: 62 – via EAA.org.
  8. ^ a b Lande, D.A. (2002). Oshkosh- GATEWAY TO AVIATION - 50 Years of EAA Fly-Ins. Oshkosh, WI: Experimental Aircraft Association. p. 22. ISBN 1-58932-005-0. " .....Bob Blacker and his students......completed the EAA Biplane......which resides in the EAA Museum".
  9. ^ Blacker, Robert D. (March 1956). "A Place for Amateur Built Aircraft in Education". EAA Sport Aviation. pp. 4–5.
  10. ^ Blacker, Robert D. (June 1959). "How EAA can Further Aviation Education". EAA Sport Aviation Magazine. pp. 18–19.
  11. ^ Blacker, Robert D. (April 1958). "One High School's Aviation Program". Sport Aviation. April Issue: 11–12 – via EAA.org. Editors Note: " The outstanding success of the course offered at St. Rita High School under the able leadership of Bob Blacker has been a source of pride for the EAA....."
  12. ^ Cole, Duane (1972). THIS IS EAA. Milwaukee, WI: Ken Cook Transnational. p. 89.
  13. ^ Blacker, Robert D (June 1959). "Progress Report on the EAA Biplane". Sport Aviation. June Issue: 17 – via EAA.org. Figure 1 and Figure 2 show the center section, fuselage, and top wing. The bottom wing had some design changes which will be listed in the next report
  14. ^ Blacker, Robert D. (March 1958). "EAA Biplane Progress Report". Sport Aviation. March Issue: 24 – via EAA.org. "Blacker reports that a few too many Design changes are needed in certain areas." Causing schedule delay
  15. ^ Blacker, Robert D (August 1960). "EAA Bi-Plane Report". Sport Aviation. August: 23 – via EAA.org. Blacker says: "Flight test determined that incidence of upper wing needs redesign to 2 degrees increase. We are on the brink of solving all the design problems with this ship but not yet sure of the final results- developing a new design is always a long and tedious task."
  16. ^ Blacker, Robert D. (February 1960). "Progress on the EAA Biplane". Sport Aviation. February Issue: 31. Here are some latest views of the EAA Biplane under construction at St. Rita's High School under the supervision of Robert D. Blacker, Instructor in Aviation at the school and President of Chapter 15.
  17. ^ Cole, Duane (2002). This is EAA. Milwaukee, Wi: Ken Cook transNational. p. 60. no one was surprised when the 1958 trophy went to Bob Blacker for his outstanding work in Project Schoolflight with his students at St. Rita High School.
  18. ^ "Short snorter", Wikipedia, 2021-06-05, retrieved 2021-06-06
  19. ^ Blacker, Robert D (1958). Basic Aeronautical Science and Principles of Flight. Chicago, IL: American Technical Society. Library of Congress CC# 58-10423
  20. ^ Poberezny, Paul (September 1958). "Book Review- "Basic Aeronautical Science & Principles of Flight". Sport Aviation. September Issue. ....If you think you know all there is to know about aviation, a casual perusal of Blacker's book will soon set you straight....
  21. ^ Schmid, Julie (October 1957). "Youth Takes a Trophy". EAA Sport Aviation. p. 13.
  22. ^ Taylor 1965, pp. 221–222