ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [Acro] Re: Question: Pitts wings w/ plywood L.E.
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Thread: [Acro] Re: Question: Pitts wings w/ plywood L.E.
Message: [Acro] Re: Question: Pitts wings w/ plywood L.E.
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From: DSowder at aol.com
Date: Sat, 26 Jan 2002 16:35:40 UTC
Paul, To the best of my knowledge, all factory built S-1's and S-2's had sheet aluminum leading edges. This includes S-1T's. Plywood leading edges are stiffer and resist dents. Also, they're glued on and properly joined at the sweep-back joint in the top wing leading edge, so the paint and fabric don't crack at that joint. Nor do any nails pop thru, as there won't be any (at least the way I've seen it done). Whether plywood is "stronger" than aluminum is a good question. It's stiffer because it is thicker than aluminum and is glued to the structure, so it stiffens the whole wing a bit. You can't dent the plywood, but it might be more likely to hole with a bird strike. The plywood is probably heavier, though I can't say quantitatively. My S-2B has plywood leading edges, which I bought from Steve Wolf back in '97 or so. They are beautiful. Steve makes them to full length in a mold. I believe that the same mold produces S-1 or S-2 L.E.'s. My B is Experimental Exhibition, but I know of at least one S2-A owner who's had plywood L.E.'s approved by FAA. I have only flown maybe 4 or 5 S2-B's, A's, and S's other than mine, but my B seems to have a "tighter" feel to it. Not sure if this is a result of the wood leading edges or not. Doug Sowder