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Knight Twister

The Knight Twister is a very unique and attractive aircraft. This is the KT Acro built by the late Hale Wallace, former owner of Steen Aero Lab.

"Before any builder constructs any other type of biplane, he must first talk himself out of building a Knight Twister."
- John W. Underwood

The Knight Twister

The distinctive Knight Twister is the oldest aircraft design offered by Steen Aero Lab and has quite an interesting history dating back to the late 1920s. Launched in 1928 by Vernon Payne as a way to liven up an aircraft design class he was teaching, the design draws heavily upon NACA aerodynamic research.

The Knight Twister in any version is a true thoroughbred. While it is not like the average trainer in control response, the fact is that the design simply doesn't need to be horsed around the sky. It is the kind of plane that thrives on smooth control inputs, and in return she will reward the pilot with smooth, perfectly-balanced performance. Properly-built Twisters tend to be very straightforward and easy to fly airplane with excellent performance, which give great enjoyment to their pilots.

Construction methods are conventional. The fully-cantilever wing and tail surface construction is mostly of plywood (it's too small to use a built-up truss structure efficiently) while the fuselage is built of welded steel tubing. The wings are fully cantilever and stressed to 7-9 Gs (depending upon the version) though the addition of flying wires raises the strength somewhat. Since the first flight with a 45 horsepower radial engine in 1929, the Twister has gone through at least eleven different versions and probably around 75 have been completed. The popular KT85 version appeared after World War Two and this lead to the versions available today: the "Imperial", "Holiday", "Acro" and the two-place "Coed". Power options range from 85 hp to 150 hp.

Knight Twister Single-Seat Versions

The Knight Twister Acro All single-place versions share a common fuselage design which is 9 inches longer than the KT85. The only differences are in the wingspan and area, which are tailored for different styles of flying.

  • KT Imperial - Wingspan 17.5 ft, stressed for 8 G's. These wings are larger so that they have the required area for biplane racing (76 sq. ft.)
  • KT Holiday - Wingspan 19.5 ft, stressed for 7 G's. This longer-winged version has a higher aspect ratio that provides shorter takeoffs and more relaxed flying.
  • KT Acro - Wingspan 15.5 ft, stressed for 9 G's. Same wings as the KT85.
Knight Twister Coed

The Knight Twister Coed The Knight Twister Coed is the two-seat version of the Knight Twister. It has a wingspan of 22.5 ft and is generally larger all around than the single-seat series.

Plans Availability

Knight Twister Plans and Info-Packs are now available in our Online Store.


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    Knight Twister Info Pack (All Models) Knight Twister Holiday Plans Knight Twister Acro (Aero) Plans Knight Twister Coed Plans Knight Twister Imperial Plans
    No Charge $275.00 $275.00 $300.00 $275.00
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