Discussion in 'Pitts Wings' started by pitts01, Mar 20, 2018.
assuming built properly, are there any negatives to using/buying sparcraft wings?
Mr. Bond coming in hot in 3...2...1...
LOL, that’s funny right there!!!
Iam here ,just a little late.(Sorry)
Iam going to remain calm,and tread lightly.
I will say only ,based on what I've seen come thru my shop ,I would not fly,buy,or advise anyone to buy a Pitts with sparcraft wings.They have to many problems.
PS now wasn't that being nice of me.
U all know it's still cold outside ,and I could have told what I really think the wings are good for.
My summary of the Gen1 wings is;
The plywood ribs are both heavier and weaker than stick ribs. Expect broken ribs (eventually) if built per drawings and flown hard enough. You can beef up the ribs with some diagonal capstrip and gussets but that of course adds more weight.
The spars are slightly taller which means the wings are a little thicker -- and that's another weight increase.
The ailerons are not like Pitts S-1S ailerons. They are larger (more chord) but don't have the same roll power as Pitts ailerons. And they don't feel as 'solid' as Pitts ailerons -- they make the wings feel like there's more roll inertia (but that's not the problem according to my tests). I think the problem is the aileron coves and maybe the shape of the ailerons ribs contributes.
Since Pitts ailerons are well documented a builder could just copy the Pitts design but that won't solve the other problems.
My opinion is that if the wings are well built and updated they are OK. They will outperform the S-1C wings but you will miss the wonderful S-1S feel, the Sparcraft wings just don't have it. If you're trying to fly Advanced and be competitive those wings will not be your best choice. As long as you don't fly 'real' Pitts wings you won't know what you're missing.
Bill ,I see u are also being nice
I haven't had the same experiences you have. I only know people do get decent service out of the wings or at least they used to. That's my excuse anyway.......
thanks everyone! much appreciated.
Wasn't there someone on this forum who flew very competitively at the advanced level with Sparcraft wings?
My buddy had a long fuse S-1C with Spacraft wings and it was so much better than my C it was a revelation. That S-1S must melt hearts!
I flew Sparcraft wings for 160 hours of lazy acro never had a lick of problems. Good friend of mine flew the hell out of his Sparcraft wings no problems. I wouldn't be surprised that they don't fly as well as factory wings with better ailerons. They are heavier but I don't think there is conclusive evidence they are overall weaker. If they are properly built and flown they seem to do fine. Lots and lots of planes out there with Sparcraft wings so you'd have to wonder why they were so popular back in the day if they really are junk as some would claim.
Curtis left a hole in the market and Sparcraft filled it. If you weren't willing to pay the factory for a complete set of S wings you're options were limited. At the time there was no factory kit, no S-1S plans were offered, only Sparcraft had something a builder could purchase at a reasonable price and produce a set of wings that was close to what the factory offered.
There were knock-off factory wings being built by builders like Jim Killough but he was doing complete airplanes and not building wings for sale. I'm certain he wasn't alone in building factory equivalent wings. So yes, there were a lot of Sparcraft kits built and those airplanes flew many hours with good success.
The wings weren't weak, they just weren't as durable as the factory design and it was all down to the plywood ribs.
Popular because it was the only way to get symmetrical wings on a homebuilt for a good bit of time. They were bootleg wings so there was no love from Mr Pitts. The reenforced one should be fine compared to the first version. Purists and ones wanting the best performance are not going to want them. For the rest it will not matter too much as long as you are not overpaying for them. Who was the first to show up with some back in the day? I bet there was some ugly looks from S owners.
Someday I'll go back to an S1S. Curtis said it was the best flying plane he ever made. I'll look for one that is light and has the wings as he designed it.
Guido Lepore maybe?
That's who I'm thinking of. Those wings didn't seem to slow him down much.
The first two S1's I flew had Sparcraft wings. They work just fine thru Intermediate. Many years ago there were quite a few Sparcraft S1S's flying Unlimited.
Regarding the Generation II sparcraft wings, more commonly called featherweight I believe Rich Bastian built two S1S's with these wings, one flew Advanced, the other Unlimited. The people who could verify the Bastian airplanes probably are not on this forum.
I think Chipper Melton's S-1 had Gen1 Sparcraft wings and he may have had the prototype Gen2 wings on his airplane after that. They had Ply LE's which was the first I had heard of that being done. He seemed to like his new wings just fine.
Buying a Pitts with Sparcraft wings would just give me a good excuse to build wolf wings for it!
I think Chippers second S1 had the gen II. IIRC flew in a world contest, I think Jack Butlers last Pitts had the genii. Both had the small canopy that slid back a bit, then opened to the side. Similar in operation to the Eagle.
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