The Resurrection of N3117

Discussion in 'Pitts' started by dylanxpeters, Mar 25, 2017.

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  1. Mar 25, 2017 #1

    dylanxpeters

    dylanxpeters

    dylanxpeters

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    Hello all. I have made a few posts previously regarding my pitts but i would like to take the time to officially begin documenting the bringing-to-life of my once airworthy Pitts Special S-1C. I am a very eager 22 year old pilot and mechanic. I work for Mike Goulian and his brother Matt here in New England. I also work as an AOG corporate jet mechanic all over New England.

    I owned a 1972 Grumman Yankee that I made a slight restoration to and flew for almost 200 hours in one year. I flew out to Lagrangeville NY and put a deposit on my pitts. I flew home and that night made a barnstormers ad for my beloved grumman and got to trying to sell it.

    Fast forward one month and a good friend of mine was flying me out to Lagrangeville to rent a uhaul and load up my pitts.

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    The airplane came home and i took her apart. I assesed everything and made a few lists of the different things i needed to do. My project came with a Rotec TBI and i quickly began setting that up. I had a spacer built to use the same cowling inlet and began mocking up controls. In the photo you'll also see freshly built aeroquip hose assemblies (I will be adding firesleeve)

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    From there i began building a new instrument panel. The materials and basic dimensions were from the plans, but i wanted to incorporate a switch and circuit breaker panel into the instrument panel. The switch panel that was installed when i bought it was cheap and put together with automotive wiring and i thought that it looked cheap. I replaced the oil temp, oil pressure, and ammeter with new gauges from Mitchell. Some photos are attached.

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    I live right under the Boston class B airspace and knew that mode C was essential. I also wanted a get-in-and-turn-the-switch airplane so the electrical was staying. I installed a becker digital comm radio and transponder. I built a little box and support. Super simple and effective. My knee fits under the radios nice even with a chute and moving the stick in all directions.

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    Some other things that I have done include rebuilding the Christen oil valve and cleaning the breather. My airplane came with a canopy but no windscreen, so i installed a used windscreen and the canopy. I replaced the old badly made battery & box with an Oddesy PC680 and built a mount for it behind the seat. The old heavy started was replaced with a lightweight skytec. The automotive belt driven alternator and ford regulator will be replaced with a B&C vaccum pad driven alternator/regulator. The engine driven 15psi fuel pump ( for ps5c ) replaced with a low pressure type, and an electrical fuel pump will be replacing the old wobble pump.

    I have the rudder pedals removed and a good local friend that some of you my know, Dennis Sawer (skybolt/s1s/hyerbipe builder, ex Red Bull Air Race crew chief for Mike Goulian) is converting the pedals to accept toe brake cylinders. I want all the control i can get landing this short fuse little bipe!

    I look forward to completing and flying this great flying machine. I am in contact with the original builder and flyer of this pitts and he can't wait to see her fly again.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017
  2. Mar 26, 2017 #2

    Larry Lyons

    Larry Lyons

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    Cool, nice project.
     
  3. Mar 26, 2017 #3

    airplanegeek

    airplanegeek

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    couldnt have better help....Good luck
     
  4. Mar 26, 2017 #4

    EAABipe40FF

    EAABipe40FF

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    Very nice, wish it was me.:D

    (I hesitate to mention it since you are a real mechanic but pay close attention to W&B as you move/replace stuff.)

    Jack
     
  5. Mar 26, 2017 #5

    Dennis Flamini

    Dennis Flamini

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    A Pitts at 22...spoiled for the rest of your flying life.
    Love this kind of story on the forum.
     
    barchiola likes this.
  6. Mar 26, 2017 #6

    EAABipe40FF

    EAABipe40FF

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    Indeed. I had my S1C when I was 32 and it took the edge off everything else for 38 years........
     
  7. Mar 26, 2017 #7

    Knight Twister

    Knight Twister

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    Cool project and your mods are nice additions. I finished my S1 from scratch when I was just shy of my 24th birthday. I'm curious how the vertical fin got built that way when the rest of the airplane is traditional. I have flown S1's with heel brakes. They can be exciting.
     
  8. Mar 26, 2017 #8

    dylanxpeters

    dylanxpeters

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    i don't know the story on the tail. I have been able to locate photos of the plane with the original round tail. maybe it was on its back and a repair made? I am not sure.

    Gonna see if i can get inside with a mirror or borescope to inspect soon.
     
  9. Jun 21, 2017 #9

    dylanxpeters

    dylanxpeters

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    its been a while since i last updated my thread but I have been so busy with life! (but practically still revolving around my Pitts..)

    I had been searching for something to learn tailwheel in for a while but nothing came across that was affordable, and nice. I loved flying the cub, but they are expensive for what you get! I came across this Luscombe, restored and upgraded about 13 years ago. At the end of march I flew down and rented a car to see it, inspect it, bug all the luscombe mechanics i knew with many phone calls, and I made a deposit. Fast forward to mid april i was flying it home from Louisville Kentucky to Boston!

    Next up i needed a hangar. I was able to rent this really old T space at KLWM for pennies compared to the other hangars around here, but it needed a lot of work.

    Coupled with working on Netjets/FlexJet/tons of other corporate jet outfits for 55-70 hours a week (gotta pay for this stuff somehow), i've not had much time.

    HOWEVER! Some progress has still been made.
    The Pitts fuselage has journeyed to my T-Hangar where my Luscombe lives, and i received my propeller from Ed Sterba Propellers.

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  10. Jun 21, 2017 #10

    Knight Twister

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    I've seen better work come from old hangars like that than those chrome and glass epoxied floor emporiums. More character. Nice 8a Where in Louisville? I am local and never seen the airplane.
     
  11. Jun 21, 2017 #11

    dylanxpeters

    dylanxpeters

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    The 8A was restored and converted to an 8E spec with 85hp, wing tanks, and electrical system. It lived in Vine Grove Kentucky, at small private grass strip. The owner bought it 9 years ago, learned how to fly in it (and at the same time began building an RV8). Once the RV was completed the Luscombe went up for sale and I snatched it up.
     
  12. Jun 21, 2017 #12

    Knight Twister

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    Lots of strips in that area. Friend of mine has a Pietenpol on a farm in Elizabethtown and a hangar at the public airport. Good looking prop. What are the spec's ?
     
  13. Jun 21, 2017 #13

    dylanxpeters

    dylanxpeters

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    I went with a 74x54. There wasn't much info on propeller specs for a 150hp S-1C that I could find...everyone is talking about souped up 200hp 4 aileron planes. I Expect it to be slightly over propped, but thats ok. I want her to climb. After all, its a biplane. If it tends to overspeed too much on downlines i will have it repitched.
     
  14. Jun 21, 2017 #14

    Guido Lepore

    Guido Lepore

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    Everyone needs at least two airplanes, then two motorcycles, then .....etc

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  15. Jun 21, 2017 #15

    dylanxpeters

    dylanxpeters

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    Ugh.. I'm currently trying to sell one of my two motorcycles.

    nice luscombe! do you own that?
     
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  16. Jun 21, 2017 #16

    Knight Twister

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    I used to fly a 150 hp S1C with a 74/57 metal sensenich off of a tri pacer. It could have used a retwist. 54 sounds good. High cruise isn't the name of the game with a Pitts hot rod.

    I think Sterba puts out a good product for the price. He will fine tune them for free too.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2017
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  17. Jun 21, 2017 #17

    Cameron

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    I've seen that Luscombe at Lee Bottom. Nice airplane.

    When I sold my 8E several years ago, the guy that bought it rode in that Luscombe with his buddy to pick up mine and fly it home.
     
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  18. Jun 22, 2017 #18

    Acrobum

    Acrobum

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    Ha! Thats my buddy Scooters airplane! He has to be one of the few that flies his Luscombe bush style! Based in Kodiak, AK!
     
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  19. Jun 23, 2017 #19

    SamSwift

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    I knew the man that restored that Luscombe. His name was Bob Reuther, from Lebanon, TN. When he finished it, it ended up winning some award (can't remember which) at Oshkosh for the workmanship. It's a nice plane. Bob passed away probably a decade ago and the plane began to change hands. Beautiful machine. Keep up the good work on the Pitts project.

    Sam Swift
    Pitts N2968G
    Swift N3760K
     
  20. Jun 23, 2017 #20

    dylanxpeters

    dylanxpeters

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    You are right on. the aircraft won awards at both sun and fun and oshkosh. they're hung up in the hangar. I have a whole bunch of photos from when Bob was restoring it, it's really a great airplane.

     

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