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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [IAC-L:298] Re: Which pitts to build.


Thread: [IAC-L:298] Re: Which pitts to build.

Message: [IAC-L:298] Re: Which pitts to build.

Follow-Up To: ACRO Email list (for List Members only)

From: ultimate at (

Date: Thu, 03 Jul 1997 15:22:37 UTC


  jmaurer at wrote:
>      I am considering building a Pitts and was hoping I could get some
>      advice on which to build.
>      I am trying to decide between the S1-C and the Model 12 Monster.
>      Anyone have any thoughts?
>      How much time will I REALLY spend building an S1-C? (Aviat says 2500
>      hours)
>      The monster is relatively new, utilizing the Vendenyev M-14. Anything
>      I should know about that engine? (Other than fuel flow)
>      Any thoughts as to which would be the easier build?
>      How good are the plans to the S1-C?
>      -jeff maurer
>      Please mail me directly at jmaurer at


I owned a Pitts S1C - Lyc 0320 of 150hp, flat wing, two aileron, open
cockpit.  It was a lot of fun.  I bought it in 1983 for $9,500 and sold
it in 1989 for $11,500.  I added a stainless exhaust and an inexpensive
alternator system - that's all I did except for normal maintenance.  A
single place Pitts is pretty simple and reliable.  A C model with 160 hp
is a good plane up to Intermediate competition.  Robert Armstrong flew
one in Unlimited but it was very modified, though the flat wings were
still used and he had, I guess, 200 hp.  

However rather than a C model, an S1S is a better deal.  Go up to 200
hp.  Put a constant speed prop on it.  SYMMETRICAL WINGS!  The resale
stays there.  The cost of building either is probably the same. 

An S1S is the single best bang for the buck in Acro Aviation today.  For
$30k, you can buy one that is flying.  Just add fuel and oil.  Maintain
it some.  There is a very talented guy here where I live at Aero Country
Airport just north of Dallas, TX, that can fly the 1997 Unlimited
sequence in his 180 hp Pitts.  With good scores, by the way.  Not too
many folks even bother these days. 

The Macho Stinker, Model 12 is a big airplane.  I know a little about it
because I've helped Ben Morphew some while he's building his on the
airport here.  He's built the fuselage from front to back over the last
year and is waiting for his canopy assembly being built by some guys
down in Florida that are into Stearmans, etc.  It's a big plane.  You'd
have a hard time building it in a garage.  The engine and prop are
readily available and they are, apparently, damn good and reliable
engines.  However, unless you're an engine nut and love radials, there
are quirks with the engine - air pumps and air starts, etc.  Also, the
airplane is an unknown as far as competition goes.

Curiosly enough, you can probably build the Model 12 for less than an S1
- engine costs, etc. 

Finally, I would recommend that you not build an airplane unless you're
a real builder type.  If you're a flyer, the project will take too long
and you will lose interest.  If you're doing it to save money, forget it
unless you are really an insider in the aviation parts industry.  I know
these things because I thought I wanted to build an airplane.  And I
have.  I am doing my finishing up paint on my totally scratch-built
Ultimate 10-200 Pitts that I started in September of 1987.  10 years. 
See what I mean? Fortunately, the last couple of years I've had a 180 hp
Swick T-Craft to fly so I could stand it.  I should fly mine by the
second week in August.

Good luck.

Daryle L. Grounds, CPA
Chapter 24 and 25
Dallas/Ft. Worth and Houston, TX


© Dr. Günther Eichhorn
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