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Pitts S-1S N292Y Rebuild Complete!

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Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Mar 19, 2022
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Huntersville, North Carolina
Pitts S-1S N292Y had its first flight after a 6-month rebuild on 9/14/22!

I picked up this project in Tennessee back in February after it had sat in the back of a hangar for several years. My wife was 5 months pregnant at the time, and I somehow managed to get her support for the need to scratch "Fly a Pitts" off the bucket list before the little one arrived. I missed that deadline by a few months but still happy with how quickly we got it done!

The previous owner had lost the brakes during taxi testing and managed to side-swipe a carport and swimming pool, thankfully, all without touching the prop. The engine is a low-time O-320-E2D with a Mccauley prop.

The wings were up through the first coat of silver but still needed a lot of attention to the fabric before the color coats went on. The final finish is Aerothane, with a single coat of white polytone underneath. This really helped the final red pop and minimized the number of (heavier) Aerothane coats needed.

I rebuilt the panel to add a Trig transponder and cleaned up the layout, switching to a keyed mag/ignition and split style master/alternator to reduce the number of switches. Added a digital tach (not by choice, failed to recognize the angle of the tach drive cable when plotting the instrument holes) and digital voltmeter.

The final weight came in at 785 lbs and should be right around 800 once the inverted and smoke systems are installed.

In total, I did 4 hours and 45 landings with Bill Finagin in his S-2C before the test flight. Time in an S-2 was absolutely worth the investment!

Overall the test flight came back with a squawk I wouldn't mind keeping. The ADSB had me clocked at an average 190-209kts, not sure how to address that one...otherwise the rigging was nearly perfect out of gate! A fish scale and a set of rigging boards did the trick!

I can now say I'm a fourth-generation biplane pilot and can't thank my Dad, Bill, and countless others enough for helping get this project completed!


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