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1985 S1T on barnstormer's - what's it worth?

jdm

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He says he's had a lot of interest; make offer.

http://pitts-s1t.blogspot.com/?m=1

It looks good in the pics, but in barnstormer's he says it's been in "long term storage in a desert T hangar." I will ask what that means: pickled storage or just parked?

Guestimates on a price range?

-- jdm
 

jrs14855

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Registration has expired. make sure it doesn't have cotton fabric. Prop AD?? Figure on a minimum pulling a couple cylinders to check for cylinder and cam/lifter rust.
Someone will probably pay an obscene price for it. S1T's are hard to find, quite a few were exported, some totaled.
 

jdm

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spoke with the seller, Jim, an IA who's selling for an old guy who parked it at Lancaster (near Edwards AFB) in the CA desert 5-8 years ago. no pickling. logs are currently AWOL but think they can be found.

Jim is planning on flushing the oil and taking care to get oil flowing before starting 'er up.

That's about as dry a climate as it gets, but still, seems likely to leave a mark, in the form of engine corrosion. I'd think all the rubber hoses and such are dry and cracked, too, but that's not a big concern compared to the corrosion cooties.

Now what would you pay? He's thinking $40k-60k, which seems reasonable if the logs can be found AND the engine isn't trashed. My understanding with the Lyc's tho is that you just can't see the bottom of the engine like you can with a Conti (I have a TCM TSIO-360 in the Mooney), and that's where most of the problems are.

This is where the collective wisdom of this forum comes in...
 

jdm

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Thanks, JimS.

JimE says he's had 20+ calls on it already. Granted, some are tirekickers, some lowballers, but yeah, the export SOBs probably too.

Given the interest, he's not likely to agree to pull a cyl, but I may be wrong. With enough interest, it's a take-it-or-leave-it seller's market, and he can sell it to the highest bidder.

So, given incomplete information, help me model a walk-away price for the plane, given the potential risk:
  • engine: expensive. probability of some corrosion (almost certain?), probability of catastrophic corrosion requiring overhaul in < say, 400 hrs?
  • fabric: expensive, but can be easily confirmed to not be cotton
  • prop A/D: how expensive? if the plane hasn't been flown in 8 years, it's nearly 100% certain it hasn't had any compliance work done in at least that period, possibly longer.
  • avionics: the plane has a transponder and at least one radio, but baking and disuse is not any good for electonics, esp. capacitors and displays. less cost and fuss than replacing an engine, but still thousands of $$.

I'd love to get Eric's input here, but I think he said he was traveling today. Anybody else who's involved in these transactions regularly, with a feel for the market (and risks)?

Honestly, I've been looking for an S, not a T, but either way looking for a top-notch specimen. If that happens to be a T, so be it. This one clearly has some questions marks, not all of which can be resolved, thus the calculated approach.

-- jdm
 

PittsDriver68

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Fabric - $30K I had mine done a couple of years ago.

Prop - $6K for overhaul including a new hub. New Hubs are around $3K or so. Maybe more now.

My Pitts spent 25 of its winters sitting in Canada. The resulting corrosion on the cylinder walls was not enough to do anything more than increase the oil consumption some. I flew it another 700 hours that way.

The cam and lifters are the big concern. 7 years in the desert may not be a problem, but I would pull a front cylinder to look. The engine has the older style tappets and cam, not the newer roller cam setup. The older style results in more wear faster if there is corrosion on one of the rubbing surfaces.

Wood - you will be moving the airplane from a very dry climate to a much wetter one. Plan on the wood responding to that. Glue joints may be overstressed with the resulting wood movement. Bud Davisson had very interesting commentary on what they found when they opened up the Pitts he relocated from Florida to Arizona. You might give him a call and ask about it. I recall that he reported having to repair lots of glue joints, but my memory is fuzzy.

I have at least one friend with an S-1T. He likes it but he would score just as many points in an S-1S. Don't buy it thinking that you will get a significant competitive edge. The Laser and Extra guys have occupied that space. You have to out think them.

Best of luck,

Wes
 

gmann750

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I spoke with Jim as well and he doesn't seem real in tune with this type of aircraft, he couldn't tell me what crank was on it, what kind of fabric etc? He says the registration is current, it also has a come along holding the gear together so who knows why it needs bungees, was it dropped in etc. Tach is showing 394 ttafe. You could probably use the blades and get a new hub out of Byams in Texas for 2400.00$. I might take a ride out there an check it out if he can find the books.
 

jerr888

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What's the deal with the canopy jettison piano wire mod?
Isn't full open good enough? Never seen this before?
 

PittsDriver68

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Some folks are concerned that they will not be able to get the canopy open in an emergency and believe that getting it off the airplane will work better. S-1 canopies are kind of flexible so I can see where the fear that it will jam in an emergency comes from.

Best of luck,

Wes
 

biplanebob

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That airplane was based at KLNS in the mid 1980's, one owner/pilot purchased new and was meticulously maintained at THAT time, was used for some IAC competition ( not unlimited ).

The airplane was sold and I lost track of the plane and owner.

A lot of calendar time has passed on that airplane on in the last 30 years, unless it has had an airframe and engine rebuild,....it is now what is known as an " ageing aircraft " .

Bob
 

jerr888

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Hey:
Lancaster Pa to Lancaster Ca.

Reminds me of Leo L. Had wing built in Riverside Ca and delivered to Riverside Ct?

Neat
 
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jdm

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yes, side-by-side, in similar condition, i'd opt for the S, esp. since the T is probably at a $10k premium. i already have one complex, hi-perf airplane full of bells and whistles and the associated maintenance cost - totally appropriate and IMHO worth it for a turbo Mooney, but my fav planes to *fly* are the simple ones.

i'm also keeping the Mooney, but after years of paying for Part 21 maintenance, i swore my next plane would be Experimental, which, of course, the T is not.

so far, however, i have failed to get my mitts on the S right for me, at any price. i will gladly pay for top condition. but the wait and letdown gets tiresome.
 

Taildragger

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Well don't rush a purchase just to get something, particularly when you know you don't like the Part 21 mx costs.

We're coming on winter...don't lots of acro planes go up for sale then? End of competition season, etc...
 

jrs14855

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Hey:
Lancaster Pa to Lancaster Ca.

Reminds me of Leo L. Had wing built in Riverside Ca and delivered to Riverside Ct?

Neat
Prototype Stephens Acro was built in Riverside CA
Leos wings were built in Texas, except maybe the last one.
 

Morphewb

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This T has ''money pit'' written all over it. I can't imagine what will happen if the owner can't find the log books! I finally gave up on a T a few months ago and got a nice S that'll do what I want to do with the T these days. I got tired of every T having something pretty expensive to go with it....fabric, prop, older radios, no akro crank, etc. I'll admit the place is dry there but there's a buttload of dust in and all around that plane. At least someone washed at it before they took the pictures. Of course if it has cotton on it I doubt the guy will realize he has a can of worms and even at a cheap sales price it'll cost at least as much to get it up to speed. Even with dacron on it the fabric is 31 years old. Less than 400 hours in 31 years can't be that great for the engine guts no matter where it's been parked. You can bet the oil pump AD hasn't been touched much less the crank AD. The good thing is you can do all of that when you overhaul the engine! The same with the prop....''polished blades'' and at least one high dollar hub AD. Of course he'll have a lot of tire kickers but some of those tire kickers have kicked enough tires over the years to know when it just doesn't make sense to put 50K into a say a 50K plane only to end up with a 60k airplane in a year or so after everything's been fixed. Even knocking 20k off the price still doesn't make work out. The reason the come-a-long is on it is probably because it still has the original shock cords and someone was smart enough to at least try to keep it off it's belly while the rest of it was deteriorating away in the hangar. Of course, the more people who call will make them think they really have something there and won't budge on the price....what ever that is. All in all just a damm shame.
 
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ssmdive

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It is a real shame that planes like this are not 'worth' repairing.
Say you got this plane for 20K (which does not seem likely).
You rebuild the engine (20K)
You have the plane recovered (30K)

You now have 70K in a plane that *might* bring 60K if you sold it tomorrow.

I have a buddy. He paid 50K for a Cub. It is a *nice* Cub. The guy that sold it to my buddy had just paid 90K to have it done 2 years before my buddy bought it&#8230;. Yes, he paid 90K to redo it and had to sell it for 50K.

As I have been told over and over in my plane search&#8230;. Planes are like playing "Hot Potato" and you don't want to be the guy holding the plane when the fabric becomes due.

I personally think it is a real shame.
 

gmann750

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Ben I was hoping you were going to jump in on this, thanks for the info. I figured if it was a good one you would already own it.
 

TFF1

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No logs -$10,000. I believe there are only two airplanes, certified, that have type cert. polished blades; Pitts is not one . ADs could eat that engine up to the point of O/H just to clear them out. Micro rust pits are like sandpaper to the metal; cam might not last long. Its not a buy and fly. Unless cotton, fabric is probably the least of the problems. Price needs to reflect no logs and ADs.
 

Morphewb

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Thanks. I'm not trying to pee on anyone's parade here but there is also a thread about the S1S gross weight being 1,150 lbs. Guess what! That's exactly the same gross weight as the T model.
I've posted this before but when the original T was made, the only electrical system it had on it were the magnetos! It had a boat anchor Delco starter and the Hartzell prop just because there was no alternative at the time (around 1975) and the only way they could start it was with an outside battery hooked up to a round Piper style power plug above the pilot's left shin. The competition rules didn't require radios then and Curtis had this plane as naked as possible. Since he had been in the middle of FAA certification for years I'm sure his scales were calibrated and correct. According to the first log entry the empty weight was 790 lbs. with a Hartzell prop and a Delco Remy starter. Didn't even have a battery box...that was installed later. No paint on the interior, no lexan panels...nothing that was one ounce more than Curtis thought was necessary.
Of course you couldn't operate that airplane in today's world but remember the factory T's came with a complete electrical system, radios, Hartzell prop, ferry tank, and ??? all with the same gross weight as the S1S with quite a bit higher empty weight from the original.
 

paulie1161

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FWIW, Steve Wolf was working on a Pitts that needed a set of wings and it should be almost ready to go by now. If I were looking for a Pitts, I would want to be buying it from someone like Steve. (I am not sure if it is a "c" or an "s" ) Worth a quick phone call.
 

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