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Exp Pitts S-1S Sale or Trade

Martin Hill

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Aug 8, 2019
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Yorktown, VA
Looking to sell our Pitts, my partner just isn't able to fly it and wants out.
Ask is $55k but legitimate offers won't be turned away. I'd also entertain trades on Ultimates, Eagles, S-1Ts, S-2S, S-2B/C or other bipes that can push -4G or more even if they need some lovin' or I have to bring cash to the deal.

1978 original build; Fuselage pre-1970 plans S-1C, modifed to S-1S in the 80's, Maule tailwheel.
Plane has a history but went through a major rebuild in 95-96 by Willie Carter, flew for a couple years then parked for 20.
Sparcraft wings added later and then reinforced to the point you almost have double ribs. 235TTAF
IO-360A4A 155SMOH, teardown last year (about 90hrs since) to inspect for corrosion and install aerobatic crank, all new gaskets
Sensenich 76/60 133TT, hits 2750RPM at about 150mph, about 2500 in 120mph climb.
Split servo/trim tab on elevator, really nicely balanced controls.

Big rebuild last summer;
-professionally recovered lower wings (Jerry Stadmiller/BIPE inc)
-All new hoses (including flop tube)
-Fuel system OH (Wobble Pump, Fuel Pump, Servo, Divider)
-Electrical system OH (LW starter, SD-8 alt, Earth X battery, B&C reg & OV protection)
-Garmin GTR-200 radio (stereo w/ music input), Headsets Inc panel power, KT-76C Transponder, bench-tested encoder, ECHOUAT ADS-B in/out (with anonymous mode!)
-New ratcheting Hooker 7-pt
-Basic panel: Mechanical A/S, Alt, Tach, Fuel Press. Electrical Oil Temp/Press. Digital G-meter/timer/clock/voltmeter. Airpath compass, two velcro strips to mount navigation/entertainment system (cellphone)
-New Bungees, Tires, engine mounts, wing and aileron hardware
Condition inspection complete 6/2021
All logs since day one. Comes with Aviat maintenance manual, parts manual, S-1S plans, spare nosebowl, tailwheel, odds n' ends.

I won't tell you that it's a dream Pitts with everything you could want but I have flown it 90hrs since getting it back in the air at the end of July 2020. It's a pretty trouble-free, low-time daily driver at this point. I'd buy out his half but with a published G limit of -3 (I'm a rule follower) I don't think this one will carry me far into advanced.

Feel free to comment, message, or call. Airplane is at PHF in Newport News, VA if you want to carefully kick the tires without hitting the wheel pants.

Marty Hill



Premium Member
Jan 22, 2009
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Marty, I wish you good luck here, just seriously hoping you reconsider the sale if your only reservation is the published -3G limit on the airframe. This is not a "rule", and it's common knowledge that no actual load testing ever took place that determined the negative limit to actually be only -3G. It's simply all that was required for aerobatic certification. You can fly (and win) in Advanced without pushing more than -4.5G. Plenty of us have, over the decades. With the upright seating of the Pitts, your body is the limitation on negative G, rather than the airplane. Beyond -5Gs is quite unpleasant. General aerobatic wear and tear is real, but negative G in -4/5G territory doesn't significantly exacerbate these issues.
Last edited:


Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2008
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I agree, if that’s the only reason for selling keep it and fly the crap out of it! I’m currently competing in advanced and am able to fly the 2021 known at +6, -4, my free is also +6, -4. The only time I have hit -5 so far has been during a practice session where I was practicing outside snaps from inverted on a 45 down line.


Registered Users
Lifetime Supporter
Mar 25, 2013
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If you are getting 2500fpm at 120mph then you may already be in the perfect Advanced mount. I agree with others, keep and enjoy.


Feb 28, 2011
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There were rumors that Gene Dearing ran some numbers for the factory S1S that showed the structure was good for 6G normal 9 G ultimate load both positive and negative. I routinely did 5 negative in my homebuilt S1S with primary structure built exactly to Aviat drawings


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Lifetime Supporter
Nov 10, 2009
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SW Florida (94FL)
And I did the same with various factory and experimental versions. Back when this airplane was under construction Curtis was claiming +/- 9G (ultimate?).


Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Dec 11, 2008
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Curtis told me once when visiting his shop that is was the same strength positive or negative.
He was saying how the FAA was there to witness the sandbags on the plane, and they did the positive G test. I asked if the FAA made them do it for negative G and he said "NO", we do that mathamatically. The conversation started when I asked about a large beam and lever tooling hanging from the ceiling. He said he had 16K of sand on it with about 1/4 inch deflection, and sprong back to normal after test. This was for the S-2A.

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