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[bahy-pleyn] /ˈbaɪˌpleɪn/
an airplane with two sets of wings, one above and usually slightly forward of the other.
1870-75; bi-1 + (air)plane Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for bi plane


a type of aeroplane having two sets of wings, one above the other Compare monoplane
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for bi plane



airplane with two full wings, one above the other, 1874, as a theoretical notion; first attested 1908 in reference to the real thing; from bi- + plane (n.1). So called from the two "planes" of the double wings.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for bi plane


airplane with two wings, one above the other. In the 1890s this configuration was adopted for some successful piloted gliders. The Wright brothers' biplanes (1903-09) opened the era of powered flight. Biplanes predominated in military and commercial aviation from World War I through the early 1930s, but the biplane's greater maneuverability could not offset the speed advantage of the lighter monoplane. After World War II, biplanes were used only for special purposes: crop dusting and sport (aerobatic) flying.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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