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Payne Knight Twister Imperial


The Knight Twister Imperial is actually a Knight Twister upgraded to race in the Sport Biplane class. Piloted by Don Fairbanks, it won the Silver Biplane Race at Reno in 1971. The primary difference in the Imperial version was a redesigned wing section and an increase in wingspan, tailplane span and fuel capacity. The fuel is carried in two tanks, a 21-gallon upper and a 15-gallon bottom. The wings are fabric-covered wood structures, and the fuselage is a fabric-covered steel-tube-truss structure with wood stringers.

Engine 140-hp Lycoming.
Gross Wt. 900-1100 lb
Empty Wt. 694 lb
Fuel capacity 35 USG
Wingspan 17 ft
Length 16 ft 1 in
Top speed 170 mph
Cruise 120 mph
Stall 50 mph
Climb rate 1000 fpm
Takeoff run 475 ft
Landing roll 800 ft
Range 680 miles



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