Were any biplane flying wings built and flown after the 1912-1914 variants of the Dunne D.8? If not, why?

Wikipedia mentions merely that this type was too stable and insufficiently controllable, but that's not inherent to this layout. And the biplane's stiff truss structure remained useful for the next half decade.

  • $\begingroup$ Maybe use "blended-wing" as a tag. $\endgroup$
    – PerlDuck
    Commented Aug 8, 2019 at 17:32
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ BWB's belong to the jet age, unfortunately too fast for biplanes. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 8, 2019 at 17:45
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ See this question over on meta. Maybe a new tag is coming soon... $\endgroup$
    – PerlDuck
    Commented Aug 8, 2019 at 18:26
  • $\begingroup$ The Burnelli RB-1 and RB-2, 1921-1925, are biplanes with lifting bodies, which is sort of adjacent. $\endgroup$
    – Roger
    Commented Aug 8, 2019 at 19:44
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, more of a lifting body with a vestigial stab and elevator than a true flying wing. Clever layout for an airliner! $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 8, 2019 at 19:52

2 Answers 2


OK, I found one, from a friend's suggestion about hang gliders. The late 1970's UFM Easy Riser, initially a go-kart engine strapped to a foot-launched hang glider, the "first ultralight."
But this is even more Octave Chanutesque than the 1912 Dunne! Are there any, shall we say, nonprimitive models? If not, why?

  • $\begingroup$ Ah, now that we have a tag flying-wing, maybe someone knowledgeable will notice and answer. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 10, 2019 at 15:59

It is arguable that these planes are not true flying wings because things like the pilot and engine sit or dangle outside the wing airfoil. Besides Dunne's D.1, D.3, D.4, D.5, D.8 and D.10 of varying success, W Starling Burgess in the US built 19 Burgess-Dunne tailless biplanes, many of them waterplanes, e.g. the 1916 AH-7.

AH-7 in US Navy camouflage livery

The 1930 Smith B2 Arrowhead was a similar landplane, backed by Glenn Curtiss (who had bought out Burgess).

Safety Airplane B-2

The 1932 Westland-Hill Pterodactyl V was a tailless sesquiplane - a biplane with the upper wing bigger than the lower one. It flew well enough as a fighter prototype but, with the revolutionary fast monoplanes beginning to prove their worth, was obsolete before it flew.

Pterodactyl V

The Easy Riser has already been mentioned. Can't recall any others offhand, I might have missed something.

  • $\begingroup$ The Pterodactyl series is a fascinating set of experiments! $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 17, 2019 at 17:08
  • $\begingroup$ Might the narrow CG range of a flying wing (biplane or not) explain why this type was so rare? $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 17, 2019 at 17:26
  • $\begingroup$ Yes. Also, the stability of a practical tailless wing is a complex and subtle issue which many designers get wrong. This link gives some related information: aviation.stackexchange.com/questions/62377/… $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 18, 2019 at 19:37

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