Pitts S-2 Special

Pitts S2B Special PH-PEP of Wings over Holland at Lely Stad Airport.
Pitts S2B Special PH-PEP of Wings over Holland at Lely Stad Airport.

The Pitts Special was designed by Curtis Pitts and is acknowledged as the worlds leading competition aerobatic and airshow display airplane. The original prototype of the S-1 Special first flew in September 1944. The Pitts Special has won more aerobatic competitions than any other airplane in history. It is the only fully FAA Certified competition airplane made in America and one of the very few which are manufactured in the world. The Pitts Special has been factory built by Aerotek, Christen, and currently Aviat.

The two seat S-2 Special is of the same configuration as the single seat S-1 but is larger overall, and generally regarded as a more capable aerobatic aircraft due to its larger size and heavier weight, more power and aerodynamic changes.

The current model is the Pitts S-2C, a two-place airplane capable of unlimited category competition and universally recognized as “the” aerobatic trainer, as it can legally carry both instructor and student, including fuel reserves, during all hard aerobatic training sessions. There have been some 700 factory manufactured Pitts and an estimated 600 that have been built from plans or kits in the period before 1984.

Developing nation: United States of America.
Manufacturer: Aviat Aircraft Inc.
Designer: Curtiss Pitts.
Production line: Afton, Wyoming USA.
Type aircraft: Special aerobatic biplane.
   
First flight: September 1944, Pitts S-1.
   
Cockpit: two seats.
Wing span upper: 6,10 m.
Wing span lower: 5,79 m.
Wing area: 11,6 m².
Fuselage length: 5,71 m.
Height: 2,02 m.
Engines: one Lycoming IO-360 fuel injected flat four piston engine rated 135 KW.
Propeller: The Claw by Hartzell, constant speed, composite three-blade, 1,98 m diameter.
Empty weight: 520 Kg.
Fuel: fuselage tank capacity 90 liters.
  wing tank capacity 110 liters.
Max. take off weight: 737 Kg.
Cruise speed: 282 km/h.
Service ceiling: 6.400 m best at 1.830 m.
Max rate of roll: 400 °/sec.
G-limits: 6 G/-5 G.
Range: 513 km.
Performance: max. rate of climb at sea level 823 m per minute.
Take-off run: 169 m.
Landing run: 229 m.

Pitts S-2C

 The S-2C has aerodynamic changes including square wingtips, fin and tailplanes, flattened belly, refined engine cowl and redesigned         windshield. It cruises 24km/h faster than the S-2B.

Cockpit: 2 seats.
Wing span upper: 6,10 m.
Wing span lower: 6,10 m.
Wing area: 11,8 m².
Fuselage length: 5,41 m.
Height: 2,02 m.
Engines: one Textron Lycoming AEIO-540 flat six rated 195 KW.
Propeller: constant speed 3 blade prop
Empty weight: 520 Kg.
Max. take off weight: 771 Kg.
Max. speed: 337 km/h.
Service ceiling: 6.400 m.
Max rate of roll: 400 °/sec.
G-limits: 6 G/-5 G.
Range: 555 km.
Performance: max. rate of climb at sea level 884 m per minute.

 

Pitts Specials

  • All single seat (S1n) and two seat (S2n) are high performance biplanes with variations of a design that started in 1944. The design was popularized by Betty Skelton, Caro Bayley, and other performers, which lead to the offering of plans around 1960.
  • S-1C = Plans built aircraft, flat bottom wing, two aileron, single seat engine was normally anything from an 62.5 kW continental to a 132 kW Lycoming, fixed pitch prop.
  • S-1D = Just an S-1C but with 4 ailerons.
  • S-1E Like S1-S, but homebuilt (E for Experimental) symmetrical wing.
  • S-1S = 132 – 147+ kW, single seat, factory or homebuilt, symmetrical wing, 4 ailerons, fixed pitch prop.
  • S-1T = 147 kW Lycoming AEIO-360, 4 aileron, single seat, factory built, symmetrical wing, constant speed 2 blade Hartzell prop.
  • S-1-11B = 220+ kW Lycoming, 4 aileron, single seat, experimental-plans or factory built and factory component parts, symmetric airfoil, 3 blade constant speed prop rolls better than 400 degree/s, climbs better than 1.220 m/min.
  • S-2A = 147 kW Lycoming, 4 aileron, 2 seat, factory built, symmetrical airfoil, constant speed 2 blade Hartzell prop.
  • S-2B = 191 kW Lycoming, 4 aileron, 2 seat (larger fuselage than S2-A), factory built, symmetric airfoil, constant speed 2 blade Hartzell prop with options for a 3 blade MT or 3 blade Hartzell composite prop.
  • S-2C = 191 kW Lycoming, 4 aileron, 2 seat, factory built, symmetric airfoil, constant speed 3 blade prop , current production model. Improved version of S-2B, with improved ailerons and rudder.
  • S-2E = basically a kit built S-2A (maybe a few plans built).
  • S-2S = 191 kW Lycoming IO540, 4 aileron, single seat, factory built, symmetrical wing, constant speed prop, 2 blade Hartzell prop…derivative of the S-2A, factory built, often used by airshow performers such as Jim LeRoy of Bulldog Airshows.
  • Model 12 – 264 kW M14P Russian radial engine, 2-blade or 3 blade MT propeller, plans built, component parts available. Developed by Jim Kimball Enterprises  in Florida.
  • Model 13 – a “coupe” type monoplane design. It was never built.
  • Model 14 – A new design being built by Steen Aero Lab  Two-place, 294 kW M14.
  • Model 15 – Reported as a light sport type monoplane aircraft being developed by Steen Aero Lab.

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