Pitts S-1 Special, 1943 - (scan - 1996)

One of the world's finest aerobatic aircraft, the S-1 was flown by the U.S. Aerobatic team to win the 1970 and 1972 World Aerobatic Championships.

Engine: Lycoming Q-360, 150 hp (Smithsonian caption)

In 1943, Curtis Pitts designed first of a line of aerobatic aircraft known as the Pitts Special. S-1S competition version has four ailerons, symmetrical airfoils and, generally, a 180 hp Lycoming engine. Most common version, however, is S-1C with two ailerons, M-6 airfoils, and any engine up to 180 hp, the most popular being the 125-150 hp Lycomings. The Pitt's role in aerobatic competition dates back to 1965 US National Aerobatic Championships. Its first win was in 66 when Bob Herendeen became US champion in his S-1C. In same year, he competed in the World Championships in Moscow and aroused considerable European interest in the aircraft. S-1S Pitts flown by 2 of the 3 members of victorious US Aerobatic Team in 1970 World Championships and by all 3 members in 1972. Also in 1972, individual World Champions Charlie Hilliard and Mary Gaffaney flew S-1Ss. Men's US National Champion has flown an S-1S every year since 69, and the Women's every year since 67. In addition, 2 pilots of British team flew S-1S in 1972 World's Championships, and Canadian team was equipped with S-1Ss and S-2As when they entered competition for the first time in 74. S-1S has been granted an Approved Type Certificate by the FAA and is in production at the Pitts factory in Afton WY. Preceding it in production was 2-seat S-2A, first truly competitive aerobatic machine produced commercially in the US.

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