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Pitts S-1-11 Super Stinker N806PS

Flybipe

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In the spring of 1998, I received the May issue of Sport Aviation. On the cover was the brand new Aviat Pitts S-1-11B, a reincarnation of the Pitts Super Stinker.

“Flys like a monoplane with 2 wings,” said Kirby Chambliss! “I want one badly,” said Budd Davisson. “Me too,” I thought!

At the time, I was building a Christen Eagle (now flying in the UK as G-OZIP). However, after selling that project a few years later to finance a flying S-1S, my thoughts drifted back to the S-1-11B.

I ordered my Super Stinker plans, s/n 4028, in August of 2006. A year later, I ordered a VR3 tubing kit and then a Precision Aero Marine wing kit.

I originally intended to build it as an S-1-11B clone, exactly as Aviat had done. However, not long after my material kits arrived, Steve Wolf and Tony Horvath introduced the Wolfpitts Pro they had built for Wyche Coleman. A few years later, the Oracle Challenger III for Sean Tucker. Several discussions with Tony - now running his own company called Specialty Aero - convinced me that many of the trick ideas he and Steve came up with for the Wolfpitts Pro could be adapted to the S-1-11. Ultimately, the following components and modifications were included in the build of N806PS:

Airframe
  • VR3 fuselage kit
  • VR3 empennage kit, Steve Wolf design
  • Laser-cut fittings by Kevin Kimball and Laser Cutting Services
  • Specialty Aero rod-gear motor mount
  • Chris Murley/Wolfpitts airfoiled, carbon horizontal stab and balanced elevator skins
  • Wolfpitts carbon cowl by Specialty Aero
  • Extended rudder - modeled after the Pitts Model 12
  • Wolfpitts single piece, side opening canopy with Specialty Aero frame and carbon skirt
  • Removable single-piece carbon turtledeck by Specialty Aero
  • Titanium rod main gear by Specialty Aero
  • Grove axles, wheels and HD brakes, Flight Custom III tires, Michelon Airstop tubes, TS Flightline's braided SS brake lines
  • Aviation Products 4" dual fork tail wheel and SS tailwheel spring
  • Tail Lynx custom tail wheel steering springs and cables
  • Team Rocket fiberglass wheel pants and gear leg fairings (carbon was not available at the time, I may eventually replace them, they are heavy)
  • Carbon upper gear leg fairings by Specialty Aero
  • Carbon cabane fairing by Benny Davis
  • Carbon javelins by Benny Davis
  • Precision Aero Marine wing kit
  • Wings modified with outer 1/3rd swept leading edges and tapered spars with carbon wingtips by Specialty Aero
  • Steen Aero Lab plywood leading edges and aileron coves
  • Wolfpitts extended, 3-hinge, aluminum, balanced "ear" ailerons by Specialty Aero
  • Aluminum and carbon wing root fairings by Specialty Aero
  • Plans-built fuel tank, no wing tank, no header tank, and a big smoke tank that doubles as a fuel tank that can pump fuel into the main tank
  • Airflow Performance fuel pump and filters
  • Factory Pitts-style throttle handle by Kevin Kimball, ODI Ruffian stick grip
  • Reclined and recessed aluminum seat
  • Acrobelt ratchet seat belt by Allen Silver
  • Covered in medium Ceconite, double covered on the inboard third rib bays upper and lower, nitrate/butyrate dope through silver, PPG Delfleet base/clear topcoat
  • Steen Aero Lab flush-mounted inspection covers
  • Paint scheme design by Kevin Burns at Scheme Designers
  • Paint scheme application by Cascade Custom Design
Avionics & Electrical
  • United Airspeed and Altimeter, Century Instruments G-meter, Airpath compass, EI-MVP-50P, Garmin GTX345/GTR-200B/Aera 660
  • Hidden GPS, com, and transponder antennas (Garmin and Advanced Aircraft Electronics)
  • EarthX battery, SD-8 alternator, B&C lightweight starter
FWF
  • Lightened parallel valve experimental AEIO-540 dyno'd at 338 hp by Tim Hess at Unlimited Aero Engines
  • New cryo-treated crank, rods, and counterweights
  • New Lycon pistons
  • New Lycoming cylinders with tapered barrels
  • Airflow Performance FM-300B fuel injection, dual Slick mags
  • Skydynamics cold air intake, lightened flywheel, and 6-into-1 exhaust
  • RV-10 Baffle Kit
  • Clear carbon front baffle by Specialty Aero
  • Reverso heavy-duty smoke pump with Smoke System Helper dual injectors and check valves
  • Teflon hoses with integral fire sleeve
  • Counterweighted Hartzell Claw w/carbon spinner, PCU5000 governor
I was hoping for 1,090 lbs empty – the Aviat -11 B's empty weight – but I suspected all along it would be 30-50 lbs heavier. And it was. N806PS weighs 1,137 lbs with 10 quarts of oil, ready to fly. I’m pleased with where it ended up, but I have a few things I can do to bring that down in the future.

This project would not be possible without the incredible talent and guidance lent by the Sorrell brothers, Mark and John, of Hiperbipe fame and Tony Horvath. These three have forgotten more about biplane construction than I’ll ever know, and I am grateful for their creativity, ingenuity, and their friendship.

N806PS received its airworthiness certificate on January 22, 2021, and the first flight is being scheduled with Sean VanHatten. Insurance was easily obtained by the same underwriter who insures my S-2B, and it’s always a pleasure working with Teri Branstitre at NW Insurance.

Here are over 100 photos (of well over 1,000) that chronicle the construction of N806PS. Stay tuned for first flight details, performance specs, and detailed completion photos!

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