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S2-B's on barnstormers?

jdm

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As this forum knows, I've been searching for an S1S for 18 mos, and I think I'd still prefer that, but the wife now says she'd prefer I get another certificated airplane, rather than Experimental. (I own a turbo Mooney already, and after the breathtaking prices of parts, for example, $1200 for an ammeter for the heated prop, I wanted an Experimental.)

In any case, I'm now in the market for an S2, and I'm thinking B hits the sweet spot. I have 10 hours in a C model, but they're a lot more $$.

There are three very nice looking B's on barnstormers right now, all ~$90k, all with ~800 hours, all about the same age (early 1990's). Two have three-blade MT props; the other claims recent renovation.

I sent email to all three and will call them if I don't hear back. I'd like hear from this forum how they would approach this: which looks better & why, what to look for to differentiate, what to ask, who to do a pre-buy in those areas, etc.

For example, the prop: the C I flew had the Claw, which other B owners have told me is the best, but expensive. The Is the MT 3-blade significantly better than the stock 2-blade, and what would it cost to upgrade the refurb'd B at Aviators Unlimited?

Interesting - a check on FAA Registry says N287PS (the refurbed one at Johnny White's) has a canceled reg, exported to Mexico. Indeed, one of the pics has a Mexican registration painted on it. No bueno?

thanks in advance!
 

Defenseman1

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Sold a B last year with 1000 TT. The MT was really nice. Claw would be nice if you were rich. Lots of things to look for besides the obvious cover, hoses, etc. Could write a book. Sloppy trim, crushed spars at I strut bolts, internal wing structure, etc. Doug Dodge told me that a 1000 hour S2B Not yet rebuilt will almost always be at a good time for recover and rebuild, regardless of how pretty it may appear. A 1000 TT airplane with a recent overhaul and rebuild/recover at 95 grand would be a good value if you can find one.
 

Flybipe

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Why? Because it was fully refurbished by Herbco and Herb does outstanding work. Several of his planes have won awards at Sun N Fun and Johnny White knows Pitts well enough so you won't be getting junk.

It was for sale a little while ago, then it disappeared for a few months, then showed up for sale on Controller as being based in Mexico, then it disappeared from there and showed up again on Barnstormers being sold by Johnny White...maybe he's brokering it, or maybe he bought it to flip, but it did make the trip south of the border if I remember the photos correctly...the fact that it's now got a red framed canopy on it now makes me wonder if the new owner dropped the canopy or otherwise had some sort of incident with it...I'm sure Johnny could tell you.

Both of the other S-2B's on Barnstormers right now also look like reasonable choices, but I'd go with the one that's been gone through recently first.

I've owned and flown a B (still own actually) with the 2 bladed Hartzell and the MT 203 cm 3 blader. I wouldn't worry about the 2 bladed Hartzell for awhile, you can always upgrade later (I'd sell you my really low time, like new MT if you really wanted one!) but the Hartzell will get you through your first few years of ownership just fine unless you really want to fly hard out of the gate. Plan about $15K to put the three blader on there if you buy one new from someone like American Propeller and have it shipped up to Portland and installed. Then you can sell your Hartzell for about $5K give or take.

There are a couple places in the Portland area you can talk to about Pitts maintenance and swapping props if you want, I use Jeff Paulson at Scappoose, as does another local Pitts owner based out of Lenhardt. I think the other -B at Aurora is being maintained out of Hillsboro...both places can swap props for you, it takes about an hour plus a test flight. Creswell has Pitts savy mechanics as well, but a bit more of a drive for me at annual time than Scappoose.
 
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gmann750

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I think you should consider the Christen Eagle also, unless ou are dead set on a Pitts,that being said Johnny is a straight shooter and will get you sorted out.
 

Airbus155

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Several months ago I looked at N287PS when it was for sale in North Carolina before it went to Mexico. The airplanes looked great. When looking at the logs and paperwork, I could not find a 337 for the recover and when I asked the owner, he stated he had recovered the airplane. He then stated that after the recover, he had Herbco paint and reassemble the aircraft. The workmanship on the recover was excellent. Also, before the recover and many years before, this Pitts was involved in an engine failure and off field landing.
 

PittsDriver68

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Ouch! You are supposed to have a 337 for the recover.....

So which process was used?

Missing logs or paperwork like that lowers the value of the airplane significantly compared to one that has complete records.

Best of luck,

Wes
 

jdm

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I just spoke to Johnny and the airplane is still in Mexico. Being that I've never dealt with importing, I'd make any offer conditional on picking the plane up in, say, Texas, which is a helluva lot shorter ferry for me to Portland than Virgina, anyway.

Johnny said that the Mexican paperwork to import is very picky - he had to ohaul the prop before they'd let it in, for example, as it had been > 12 yrs. I'm surprised a missing 337 for recover would not be noticed. Given that, and presumably a similar process coming back to USA, how big a deal is a missing 337 for recovering? If it gets caught, how can it be remedied?

Johnny says the plane looks like new, stem to stern. He told me about the engine-out landing, but he has borescoped the wings and the spars look great, with no signs of damage.

I also called Dick in MN re his Raptor Pitts, which also sounds great (literally, as it has the MT 3-blade). It was recovered in 2004 after a ground loop in '03. In any case, someone else has it out for a pre-buy inspection, but it ain't sold until the fat lady writes the check.

Given what folks here have said about Herbo and Johnny White, I'm pursuing that one further, modulo import logistics issues. Heck, then I'd have a story, too! Also, I could put my reserve N number on it: N817JM :)
 

Airbus155

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Hey a real low time S2B just showed up on Trade-A-Plane. Standard red pitts paint. It says no hard acro.
 

PittsDriver68

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My S-2A spent 25 years of its life in Canada. Gerry Younger did some instruction in it for you Canadian readers.

To import it back it had to undergo a thorough annual inspection with review of its paperwork. The shop that did that work had to sign off that the airplane conformed to its type certificate and its paperwork was in order. An extra thorough annual inspection. A shop that does not work on a lot of tube and fabric airplanes would likely not notice the missing 337 as they would not look real hard at the fabric.

You can create the 337 if you have a cooperative A&P AI with a sense of humor. This gets done for antique airplanes that change hands and the new owner finds gear installed that is not supported by the aircraft paperwork file. For a recover, I will suggest that you need to be able to identify the approved fabric and process used. Fill out the 337 and send it in to Oke city with your AI friend's signature on it. 337's do not have to filed at the moment that the work is done. In fact, I found out a while ago that one of my AI friends neglected to send a 337 in on some work on my airplane (STC'ed part). So I pulled out my copy, made a copy, and sent it off to the Registry about 4 years late... They did not send it back.

Best of luck,

Wes
 

jerr888

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I once found a 337 during a title search, that the FAA had, but wasn't entered in the log book? Many pitfalls out there.
 

Flybipe

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I imported an experimental S-1S from Canada about 12 years ago. I had a Canadian registered pilot deliver it, and then I had to have an annual done in the States and then have a local DAR come out and review the paperwork and sign off on it. The annual was no different than any other annual and the DAR visit took about 30 minutes, about 28 of which was spent discussing the changes in regulations over the years and 2 minutes spent reviewing the paperwork. He gave me my temporary registration, and I was off and flying. Piece of cake. Maybe different for a certificated airplane, and this was 12 years ago. But if the airplane is a good one, I wouldn't be afraid of it.
 

jrs14855

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The prop on the B is important not for performance but for crankshaft loads. The hartzell prop is really hard on the crank. The MT three blade virtually eliminates this problem. The MT will be higher maintenance than the Hartzell two blade, but this is insignificant compared to the cost of a new crank and installation. Then there is the risk factor of the Hartzell leaving the airplane and the potential off airport landing.
I posted on the other thread my thoughts on the Mexican airplane. Canada, fine, Mexico NO NO NO.
 

Johnny White

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Ok Boys, girls and Biplane lovers,here is the story on the B in Mexico.
A young man from Mexico wanted a B so he found N287PS and bought it. tried to get it imported to Mexico and had some conflicts due to language barriers.
He contacted me for help. my daughter is an spanish teach so I am in.
Actually his english was good enough just his understanding of "our slang terms" and so forth.
Anyway, I bought the airplane from him on paper, got a DAR and exported to the real owner who was going to keep it in Cancun MX and give rides and so forth.
Just imagine all those hot girls in Bikinis getting in and out of that front COCKPIT!
He paid big money to get the rights from the MX Federallies.
He is a Corporate Pilot and got transferred to Tulca MX which is 9800"MSL. Not much power left @ 11500 trying to do Acro, he is busy and can't use the airplane now so he wants me to sell it for him.
So I am going to bring it to my shop get the same DAR, import it, register it in the US and sell it. It is as nice a stock B as you can find with all factory options and low times. The restoration was the "Ultimate" in quality.
I should pick it up next week and all Paper work finished by end of November at latest.
$95,000 might seem high but when a new C is $300,000 + and it is the same as a new airplane???
 

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