Discussion in 'Pitts Model 12' started by cactusav8r, Jun 1, 2017.
Does any one know of or anything about the Canadian Registered C-GEPF Model 12 with the R-985 on it?
Would seem to be just a little bit heavy?
The Model 12 was designed for the M14P right from the get go. Kevin will probably elaborate on the exact weight difference but I do know the FWF package on a ready to fly M14P is considerably lighter than the basic naked weight of 610 pounds for a stock (mags and carburetor, sitting on a crate) P&W R 985.
There's an airplane that needs a bump cowl. The diameter of the cowling is just too large for the airframe.
I wonder if there's any useful load available to take a passenger for an akro ride. Fuel would be good to have aboard as well.....
So many issues, prop clearance, engine mount looks longer than I would have imagined for the weight of a Pratt.
Gear looks stressed too.
Don't tell me you haven't thought about it (985) too.
Then thought better of it.
I would have painted it differently........
Could be the first Model 12 on floats! That would solve the clearance problem. Looks like a clean build anyway...kinda like a Starduster with the bigger round engine. A bit unbalanced. How many hours does it have on it?
I'm guessing he used a 985 because he didn't have a 1340.
That's the best reason for using an 985, I guess...
Dracula is smaller than a 12 and has a 985. I don't know if any engineering was done to beef up (maybe it wasn't needed after calculations were done, maybe it was/is needed. No details or facts to know). But just because a plane was designed for one engine doesn't make one a inferior example if it has another engine installed. Now the slab sided cowling...it could use some large wheels and wheel pants and a bump cowl. But IF the airframe is safe with a 985 as designed (even though it wasn't designed for a 985) or if mods have been done to make it so...I'd rather have a Pitts with a 985 than some Commy engine ;-) I think with alittle artistic detail work this could be a very unique plane...I'd even guess that did some things better than a m-14p. (Even if the only thing better is swing a 6101-12 bladed Hamilton Standard to the sweet sound that only a 985 or 1340 can do with that prop...but seeing this has a Hartzell three blade, ahhh hell I'll conceded this once to saying I like hartzell...even a Hartzell three blade has a sound unbeatable on a 985). It will never be what it ain't...and it ain't a stock, lowest weight ever Pitts model 12, but I think from the looks of things...maybe it is or can be a darn nice example of a Pitts Model 12 with a unique engine. ( take all this as complete BS as it's coming from a guy who has a Starduster Too with a Ranger and wouldn't have it any other way. 😉
It's no longer listed on barnstormers... not a real surprise priced at 70k CAN approx. 52k US. I might have bit at that price.
The Dracula concept dates back 20 years, maybe more. The profile is a 80% scale Franklin Mystery Ship, which in turn was based on a highly modified Waco UPF7.
The issue I have with the 985 is the known fragility of the crankshaft. Are current engine builders doing anything about this? I don't know. A new manufacture crank would be incredibly expensive. The crank problem is worse with the Hartzell three blade. Going back to the mid 60's on Beech 18's it was known that the engine liked the Hamilton Standard two blade better than the Hartzell three blade. IIRC the engine TBO with the Hartzell was a couple hundred hours less than with the HS.
Unless there is some super crankshaft that I have never heard of the crank on Dracula will fail sooner rather than later. Hope the prop doesn't go thru the wings as it did with Bill Adams.
That "commie" engine(correct spelling) has a bulletproof engine including the crank.
Great line wish I thought of it.
I love the 985 I guess because of the aircraft it has been on. Beech 18, BT13 and others. My only very limited experience is the BT and a V77 a friend stuffed one into and one ride in a Stearman. Which means about nothing...
The only reason I can think of for stuffing it in the 12 is because he had one. I can't think of any other reason to believe it is a good idea. If I had a good 985 laying around, I would not even consider the 12. FWIW
And I'm betting the Commie motor and prop has more low speed thrust which makes it a better choice as long as the goal isn't just being different.
THis airplane was built by Phil Rolls from plans. It is the long plans fuselage, plans wings and tail sizing. He got a used 985 cheap so decided to use it. He had to put a large battery and other stuff aft of the rear seat to get it to balance. As I recall, it is over 2000lb empty. Canadian Feds would not let him call it a model 12 because it was changed too much. The plans gear was not strong enough as it would tie in and out on landing. He had a special nearly double thick gear made. He scratch built the fiberglass cowl having carved the plug himself. There was a forum member who tried to buy it a while back with the idea of converting to a more stock configuration and engine. He passed on it as it would be more work that he wanted to get into. The m14p with Barrett mods and mt prop makes more thrust than the 985 and hartzell all while weighing 400lb less fwf.
The last 985 we got was for the Jimmie Allen Stearman. It was as close to new as possible. The engine builder had new old stock cases and new old stock crank. Brand new pistons rods etc. new cylinder barrels. Basically, the heads were 1 time use and screwed onto new barrels. This nearly new 985 was over $70k. A new old stock m14p sent to Barrett for all the goodies including injection and electronic ignition is about $55k.
I was just joking guys. I know the M-14p is a great motor. Just thinking maybe this 985 Pitts model 12 based plane might not be as bad as it seems some think? Maybe it's a complete pile. I dunno. I haven't enough knowledge on it to judge just saying a plane Pitts model 12 size can be a great plane with a 985...even if designed for a different engine....IF consideration was used and a heavier engine wasn't just thrown on. It won't ever be a Pitts Model 12 though. As we all know one mod led to more mods led to it being a unique plane just based on a Pitts model 12 is how I'd look at it. I have talked to the current owner of a Starduster Too with a 240hp radial and he loves it. Does everything he wants and more. So while some might call it a overweight pig that just pretty to look at...it fits this guys needs and wants perfectly. Is it still a Starduster Too? I think so...but really no more so than this model 12 is a model 12. I've noticed some designs people seem to accept mods and different ideas with much more acceptance than any mods done to a Pitts. Seems very few mods are accepted except from a few shops. I think that has a lot to say how good Mr.Pitts designed...people seem to feel like you're just messing up the Mona Lisa...and I guess in a sense maybe you are by changing something on one of his fine designs? Anyway, just a curious observation. Maybe I'm wrong. I do know the Stearman was actually designed and tested with many engines...maybe that's why it's so great a plane with so many different powerplants. Im not sure about the Waco UPF-7 but a 985 sure seems to be a great engine for it too. Along with Jakes and Continentals. All this talk reminds me of people who would put a Chevy 350 in a Jaguar XJS or a Chevy in a Ford. Even though it may work...it's just wrong. And so maybe the conclusion is...putting anything in a Pitts other than what Mr.Pitts intended, is just wrong? While re engining other designs may be accepted and even preferred (one example of this is Stinson 108 series....or Swifts come to think of it. Both are more sought after with different engines.) Hope the new owner becomes a member here...of love to hear what this plane is actually like. And maybe the new owner will add the cosmetics to make it more appealing with the giant engine etc?
In general the single most profound nemesis to an airplane is weight. Coupled with that is power to weight ratio & wing loading. Apply a little bit of logic and this R985 "M12" is going to very likely be a turd compared to one with the engine the aircraft was designed for?
Kris, I think your airplane is a rather unique beauty and it's performance with the Ranger will probably be satisfying. But IMO it's overall performance will likely not compare favorably to a light IO360 powered Starduster Too?
200-300 extra pounds or 400 in the case of this 985 powered beast with little if any additional horsepower simply tips the scale too far IMHO.
It's revealing that the last person looking at this aircraft was considering it with the intention of converting it back to the engine it was designed around.
That said, a R1340 would be in a different league
With due respect
Thanks for the details.. It's still in TAP. My question is more than answered. I will be keeping my Skybolt a bit longer.
When you contact the owner and ask for the damage hsitory, he omits to tell you that he flipped back years ago....and aircraft was severely damaged...
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