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S-1-11B "too much" for first Pitts?

jdm

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hello:

i'm rather new to this board, beginning in june after completing a week at Tutima Academy in an S2C. I'm in the market for a Pitts S1S/T now, and have looked at everything avail and just havent found exactly what i'm wanting. I'm considering rebuilding one, so that i get what i want, albeit at a cost of time, money, and effort. or perhaps a partnership with someone in an S2C or B+Claw. But then there's the 11B or two I see on Barnstormer's et al. Looks great to me, but someone who is *selling* one advised against it for a first Pitts. what does this group think?
 

PittsDriver68

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In truth, if the sum total of your Pitts experience is a week at Tutima, I would suggest purchasing an S-2 as your first Pitts. Buying an airplane is not a lifetime commitment and you may will spend less on insurance with an S-2 than a comparably priced single seater or even an S-1 that has a much lower purchase price. Once you have some hours, you can sell the S-2 and buy the single seater of your choice. I would call and insurance agent and supply the info for yourself and one of the airplanes you see advertised and get a rate quote. That will tell you a LOT about what the industry thinks about the match of yourself and one of the airplanes that you are interested in. Those guys look at populations of pilots and if you get a high $$ quote, then you might think about a different model.

Best of luck,

Wes
 

Kevin91

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If your mind is set on a single hole Pitts (and judging by your previous posts it seems as though it is), then stick to the tried and true S-1S, I haven't come across anyone that has been disappointed by the flying characteristics of a stock S-1S.

I've been considering putting my S-1S up for sale, if you're interested I can PM you pictures/information. Barnstormers, Trade-A-Plane, and your surrounding airports are all great places to look for a Pitts.

As a bit of a side note, there is a very big difference in the way a six cylinder Pitts flies in comparison to a four cylinder. You also must consider that a constant speed propeller will accompany any six cylinder, while a relatively limited number of S1's will be graced with a constant speed (not a bad thing considering the empty weight of most S-1T's is around 950lbs, as opposed to around 800lbs for an S-1S).

Budd Davisson has said that, "A light, 160 hp S-1C would be more airplane than 95% of the pilot population could ever use to the limit of its capabilities". I think you'll find that a 180 hp S-1S is quite a bit more plane than a 160 hp S-1C, and in some regards, more plane than an S2. Talk to as many people as you can, and consider what the objective of your aircraft will be (fun, competition, a bit of both?)
 

Defenseman1

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A good person to ask would be the person you flew with the most at Tutima. Im guessing Ken Erickson would be a great person to ask, especially if you had flown with him. Even though you likely only had 10 hours with them in a 2B or C, you would probably be able to safely adapt to an 11B if thare was a nice one was available to you at a cost you were willing to pay. The S1S is my personal favorite if cost is a factor (and if you can find a nice one).
 

jdm

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RE insurance, AOPA quoted me exactly the opposite: the S2 was over 2x the cost to insure, most likely because of the passenger liability. FWIW I do have 100+ hrs of tailwheel time in relatively high-perf t-draggers, e.g., Pawnee and AgWagon towing gliders. And over 500 hrs in turbo Mooney, which is even less relevant, except to insurance :)

An S2 partnership would have advantages, not the least of which is taking other people for the occasional ride, but everyone seems to agree that S1S is the best bang-for-buck for competition, and that's what I'd like at this point.

As we near the end of the season (so sad!) I'm hoping to see more planes pop up on Barnstormers - and KJK, yes, please PM me with your details. As I said, I'm still on-the-fence wrt buying a great fly-away bird or one that needs an o-haul and a recover, so as to be fresh, and just the way I want it. It's gonna sit all winter, anyway, so it'd be good to inspect & repair ribs, etc.

RE weight: what are the big factors driving the overall weight? The CS prop wouldn't seem to account for 150lbs difference between the S and T. And I've seen some early S models that are extra light - but is that at the cost of wood, i.e., fewer wing ribs?

And regarding engines, no two airplanes seem to have the same config. I've seen a very few AEIO-360s, a lot of IO-360s (some angle-valved), and a few O-360s with TBI or other single-port 'jector. I still haven't decided if I'm OK with the TBI. Then there are the 10:1 pistons, 4-in-1 exhausts and special oil coolers. And props from metal to 3-blade composite. What's a guy to do in picking the right thing?

Finally, I'm 6' and 220lbs, so I'm guessing more engine HP is especially useful :) There seems to be lively debate between 180hp IO-360 and 200hp wrt durability. Either way they should be less $$ to own and operate than the IO-540 (though I just love the sound of that motor, e.g., as installed in the S2C - pure testosterone!)
 

PittsDriver68

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Having walked this road, I will suggest that you are a great candidate for an S-2 partnership if you can find a like-minded individual.

As you start competition, it is to your advantage to be able to take up a coach, or fellow competitor so that person can show you flying the figures from inside the airplane. Some great competitors are not good explainers but watching them move the controls from inside the airplane you can "get" what you have to do. Later in your competition flying you will get more improvement from ground based coaching and critiquing, but when you start, some two-up flying will improve your figures faster.

Horsepower is great fun until you discover that the competition box is only 3500' wide. Then you find out that you have a space 14 seconds wide to do three complicated figures in. At that point, speed is not your friend. So there is a real trade-off for a beginning competitor between a fun ride and one that will allow you to learn without lots of frustration (read low scores on contest day).

And as an older pilot, I can report that putting your wife or significant other's name under the other canopy rail gets you a huge amount of goodwill. A friend once looked at a single seat airplane with his spouse candidate and was told that a single seat was "selfish". Hmmmm......... My wonderful wife only sits in the front seat 4 or 5 times a year but that seat is worth every penny.

Best of luck,

Wes
N78PS
 

cwilliamrose

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Those early and very light S-1S airplanes didn't have any electrical system. No starter, alternator, battery, often no radios either.
 

Grasshopper22

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As for engines, there will be little difference between an IO and an AEIO engine in an aerobatic airplane, assuming it has an inverted oil system installed in the IO version.

The "AEIO" is an IO engine with factory provisions for inverted oil and an extra oil drainage hole in the top of the crankcase for better flow and would be the defining difference between an IO with inverted oil and an AEIO.

I have no personal experience with the pressure carbs and ellison throttle bodies, but I've heard that if properly set up they are just as reliable for inverted flight as a fuel injection system.
 

gnielse

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JDM,

I'm thinking about selling my S1-S with a constant speed MT prop. Contact me if you would like more info.

Grant
 

jrs14855

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The factory brochure for the early S1S was 720 empty.
For those who can't live without an electrical system, one option is starter only with a power plug for starting "at home" and a battery for cross country only.
With this setup and a lightweight comm radio the weight could easily be kept under 750#, which is the MAXIMUM a good S1S should weigh.
 

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