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wtb: s1s, s1ss, or s1t

jdm

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hiya - im new to this forum...

i just spent the week at tutima academy (tutimaacademy.com) doing the aerobatics proficiency training in an s2c with ken erickson - HIGHLY recommended! - and now i'm hooked. i wanna do competion, as a way of keeping in it, and am looking to buy my first Pitts.

btw, i currently own a turbo Mooney (mostly all IFR XC), and tow gliders in a Pawnee. i also fly gliders.

before the class i thought i'd want an S2 - and maybe I will someday - but now i'm thinking S1S or better. (btw, the s-1-11b is very tempting, too, but one owner talked me out of it for a first Pitts)

here's my current wishlist:
- wing: roundwing, 4 ailerons, SS prefered - the faster roll the better. opinions on Ultimate wings or other wing variants?
- engine: AEIO-360 or at least IO-360 preferred. ive seen some O-360's with pressure carbs, which is curious - opinions? any prefs on inverted oil systems, Lyc, Christen, others? basically i want a motor that can handle snaps and other gyros. does that mean AEIO only or are there other ways to get there? solid flange, for example, but what else?
- prop: lightweight composite would seem easier on the engine. metal the hardest. CS not required - Ben Freelove thought that extra weight in the S1T spoiled the balance.
- gear: i like the look of the RV-style spring gear and hear it's easier. all my tailwheel time is with steerables, fwiw.
- paint: ok, this seems minor, but i've always wanted the classic sunburst red / white Pitts. other great schemes are the blue/white/red that Tutima has on their s2's. also, i love the red with black/white swirling checkerboard ive seen on 11b's, eg aviats site.
- experimental is fine, almost preferred, really. that said, it's gotta be extremely well done - imho you can. tell a lot by the cockpit how much skill and care were applied...

any tips / opinions on buying, what to watch out for, what to get / not get, and any leads would be appreciated. right now there are a couple on barnstormers, but theyre in canada, which could be a pain and take a while to get through the bureaucracy.

thanks in advance,

--jdm

John Miller
Mooney N4087H
KHIO, Portland, OR
 

wally

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Just keep watching barnstormers.com

And don't be afraid of an O-320 powered S-1 if it is a nice one. It will be a while before you are at the limits of what a nice 160hp, 4 aileron Pitts can do.
 
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jdm

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wally said:
Just keep watching barnstormers.com

And don't be afraid of an O-320 powered S-1 if it is a nice one. It will be a while before you are at the limits of what a nice 160hp, 4 aileron Pitts can do.
Ok, I found one with a IO-320 out of a decathlon. Still working out the details - seller can't find the logs....

So, how would you quantify the perf diff between the 320 and 360? The 320 is lighter, and the owner thought the plane weight "in the mid 700" pounds. I weigh 220 with the chute. As long as I can get the vertical up lines I need for Sportsman and Intermediate....

So, what's the speed diff, altitude diff (ie in a hammerhead) that one would expect? I've only flown the S2C, with a 200 lb instructor on board, so I dunno what to expect. Some say the 320 is nicely because of the light weight, others said they thought it was marginal.
 

TFF1

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It is going to be on how you perceive performance. Do you want the kick in the pants or less inertia? I would think less power can teach you more about flying as power can mask technique. As you fly gliders, you have already learned that.
 

race38

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The 320 Pitts if flown well will easily fly intermediate. The length of the vertical line doesn't meet the criteria for judging. I flew a 150hp Swick-T that weighed in at almost 1075lbs empty in intermediate and was competitive.
Enough gas thru it and you can probably fly advanced. Won't win but fly it.
 

Tomcat

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Don't worry too much about the performance difference. My first Pitts was a 150 hp S-1S and I won many Intermediate contests with it. Just put a lot of gas through it and learn how to manage your energy properly. It has been said before, but a 150 hp S1 has way more capability than 90% of pilots will ever be able to get out of it.

The only time I really needed more power in that Pitts was when I flew a contest out in Colorado, elevation was right around 4500 ft, and density altitude was around 8500, that was a little more challenging but still doable.
 

Neil

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Weight difference between a 320 and a 360 that are similarly equipped is probably less than 10 pounds so there won't be much difference in the weight department. If you are weighing a conical mount 320 against a dynofocal 360 there is a greater weight savings. The 320 with a 1/2" less stroke will tolerate 3,000 rpm better anyway. I don't think there is an "avoid continued operation from X to Y RPM" issue with a 320.

If weight becomes an issue, there's always the Gym!
 

cwilliamrose

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The engine is from a Decathlon?? Maybe you could run a CS prop on it -- an S-1T(lite). You would have almost as much thrust at the top of a hammerhead as a FP O-360 and it would accelerate well to redline. Might make for an interesting machine.
 

jdm

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thanks, guys! im glad the 320 is (more than) ok. my goal will be to expand my envelope to where the plane becomes the limiting factor, which wont be any time soon. honestly, that would be a nice problem to have! then we can think about that s1-11b....

thanks again for all the responses - what a great forum! ive long known pilots were special people; biplane pilots even more so, apparently.

so, thanks in advance for the help on all the questions i will have in the future.... ;-)

--jdm
 

jdm

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cwilliamrose said:
The engine is from a Decathlon?? Maybe you could run a CS prop on it -- an S-1T(lite). You would have almost as much thrust at the top of a hammerhead as a FP O-360 and it would accelerate well to redline. Might make for an interesting machine.
interesting idea - which props should i consider?

a story: last year i was towing gliders at our gliderport and a guy was there who had just sold a glider to one of our members. turns out this guy owns an extra, but had bought an s2b because his extra had a golf cart run into it whilst parked at an airshow. he bought the s2 to fly while the extra was repaired, and had just sold it the week before - for $65k, which is remarkable for any s2b, but this one had the hartzel claw and over 325hp!! it was experimental, as the claw was put on before the stc, but geez, no prob to me. i was very unhappy to have missed that deal. boo hoo!

that said, i already own an expensive-to-keep airplane, a turbo Mooney, so an S1 makes more sense for me as a "toy" anyway. the 320 will be cheaper to keep than a 540, by way, and insurance is about a third, too. i want a pitts i can and will just go fly, as often as possible, and build up proficiency - and have fun.

what i really dont understand: why doesnt everyone wanna do this? even the vast majority of pilots i know shudder visibly at the thought of going upside down. by mid-summer, soaring conditons here in the willamette valley have gone from so-so to nada, so i tried to convince the glider club to do some spin training then, since we own several acro-capable gliders, eg Grob 103, and you shoulda seen their reaction - let's just say it wasnt positive. why are pilots even afraid of flying in all three dimensions, even in the name of safety training? sigh.

--jdm
 

bf92

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<Ok, I found one with a IO-320 out of a decathlon. Still working out the details - seller can't find the logs....>

I would be VERY leary about buying an airplane, or engine, for which there are no logs. Buyer Beware!

Danny
 

lanceav8r

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I may have a project airplane to sell with Wittman style gear. Should be very easy to finish. Not sure if I am selling it but PM me if you are interested.
 

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