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Pitts S2A on barnstormers, buyer beware

barchiola

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Hi all,

Just a quick heads up, the Pitts S2A on Barnstormers is in pretty rough shape and it looks to me like the seller has altered the photos to hide the poor condition of the paint.

https://barnstormers.com/ad_detail.php?id=1417329&catid=15818

I went and looked at it, the paint was cracked and peeling along the stringers and along some of the tops of the ribs. When I was there the owner was trying to seal up the cracks so they could be maybe reworked and repainted, I really don't know what he intended to do but the plane looked to me like it's ready for fabric/paint.

It's hard to tell in the photo above if the bright white under the green stripe has been photoshopped or repainted but that's one of the areas where the paint was cracked. I walked around it once and left, total waste of time.

 

taildraggerpilot

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The finish looks like dope and being forty years old with 1000 plus hours cracking of the finish is to be expected.

I highly doubt the pics have been photoshoped; dope never matches the painted metal perfectly and this looks typical for the age.
 

barchiola

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it's hard to tell from the pics, they're low res so when you blow them up they pixelate out. when i went to look at it it was pretty bad, that's all. if anyone is interested, ask for better photos and ask how the cracking in the paint was repaired before spending any time or money to travel to see it.
 

Beej

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Isn't that a low-ish price for an S2A? Maybe the finish is reflected in the price... maybe the seller could add 'exterior 5/10' or similar to their ad...
 

melville rogers

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the wings look pretty decent in the pictures. The price would suggest it hasn’t been rebuilt in a while.
 

pigpenracing

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Guys above are correct on the price.. If you want a really nice A add about $20,000 or more to the price. If you want a cheap A and can't live with the old paint put a pretty vinyl wrap on it....
It looks pretty crappy to me in the photo above and that is the reason I have not looked at it. I don't need a ugly airplane or a project in my hangar....
 

melville rogers

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Guys above are correct on the price.. If you want a really nice A add about $20,000 or more to the price. If you want a cheap A and can't live with the old paint put a pretty vinyl wrap on it....
It looks pretty crappy to me in the photo above and that is the reason I have not looked at it. I don't need a ugly airplane or a project in my hangar....
It looks like a fun practice plane to someone starting out.
 

gmann750

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I thought I read somewhere the crank has the lightening holed flange and it’s not a b hub. I could be wrong.
 

smizo

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I did a prebuy on this airplane a year ago. if someone is interested in it contact me off line and I will let you know what I found. I have no idea if anything I found has been repaired since. in my opinion its ready to be rebuilt. yes it has the lightening hole crank.
 

barchiola

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I did a prebuy on this airplane a year ago. if someone is interested in it contact me off line and I will let you know what I found. I have no idea if anything I found has been repaired since. in my opinion its ready to be rebuilt. yes it has the lightening hole crank.
that's what I thought Chris, it's a project waiting on a start date.
 

barchiola

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what's the value of fabric/paint to the standard an S2-A would deserve? $40k? engine/prop overhaul for an airplane that will do acro on most flights? $35k? what can you ask for it when it's done without it being priced out by S2-B's that are still in reasonably good shape? $85k? so it's a $10k plane as it sits, hardly worth $56k, IMHO
 

taildraggerpilot

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what's the value of fabric/paint to the standard an S2-A would deserve? $40k? engine/prop overhaul for an airplane that will do acro on most flights? $35k? what can you ask for it when it's done without it being priced out by S2-B's that are still in reasonably good shape? $85k? so it's a $10k plane as it sits, hardly worth $56k, IMHO
Depends if you do the work yourself or pay someone.

This is why there are so many airplanes like these on the market; no one wants to spend the money rebuilding them for fear they will be in the hole financially.

I’d argue a S2B for $85k is going to be a p.o.s. or at least need significant tlc.
 

PittsDriver68

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Here is a data point to consider when looking at that ship. In $2001 my airplane was in similar shape and I paid low $50K for it. I nursed the fabric along for several years and learned dope touchup/repair. The actual ceconite was fine underneath the finish. Paid $30K to Joe Flood to recover it. Paid 5K at that time to get the prop overhauled with a -B hub. Several years after that I had completely worn out the engine and paid Unlimited Aero Engines to replace the crank with an aerobatic one and overhaul the engine. I recall that was $26K. So I bouth the airplane essentially on the installment plan. Bought the airplane once again in upgrades/repairs.

What is important is knowing what you are going into. And knowledge helps negotiate the appropriate price. When I started I could afford a $50K airplane. As I went along I did the rest. Now I would want $85K for my ship which is less than I have into but is generally fair in aviation terms.

So a prospective buyer should look at their budget and their tolerance for buying and flying a project. Some folks want to buy a pristine example for minimum $$. Some folks can handle a project airplane if the price is right. Some folks can write a check for new.

Best of luck,

Wes
 

smizo

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what I find interesting is people will pay what they pay for a new airplane (S2C) but balk at paying a third of that to have virtually a brand new airplane rebuilt from something like this. If properly rebuilt it could be better than a factory new airplane for 1/3 to half the price.
 

jrs14855

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The factory had problems with dacron/dope covering in the mid 80's. A some point after that they went to cotton/dope for a short time but the cotton did not last long. I recovered the wings on a S1T that was so bad you could watch chunks of dope leaving the wings in cruise flight. Some of the tapes departed also. My recollection is that airplane had less than 100 hours since new. The wing problems probably started on the flight home from the factory. The odd thing is the fuselage and tail were fine.
I flew a later dacron/dope S2B that held up very well. When I last flew it, it had about 1200 hours, still looked fine. Training airplane most of its life. It was a rental airplane for the Sebring contests and I think that as many as ten different pilots flew it at Sebring for one contest. Sportsman thru Advanced so it was worked pretty hard.
Considering the cost of complete cover, rebuild of engine and prop, even if the airplane was free it doesn't work out financially.
The first S2A's IIRC were under 30K new. The first factory S1S was $19,600 new. In that era Wag Aero was selling new 0 360A4A's for around 4K outright. New prop was around 1K.
My S1S completed in June 1977, built from scratch, was right at 10K with quality overhaul including new crank and factory new Sensenich prop.
 

jrs14855

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Technically the engine is less than 200 hours from TBO, Crankshaft and prop are both question marks. Way past time for new fabric. At asking price you are looking at 125K plus, maybe closer to 150K. He will find a "welcome sucker". In the real world that airplane is not worth 25K.
I recognize the owners name but can't remember who he is. The airplane is likely either at Greenwood Lake or Orange County????
 

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