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Old Mar 21, 2011, 07:44 AM
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Methuen, MA
Joined Sep 2002
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It is coming together very nicely Rick! Regular Ultracote shouldn't be a burden at all on this thing. Your dad could cover it in Ceconite and it wouldn't be overweight.

The new power system sounds perfect.
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Old Mar 21, 2011, 10:18 AM
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Lincoln, UK
Joined Jun 2005
615 Posts
Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't the S1-S have a symetrical sectioned wing? As far as I understand, the S1-C had the flat bottomed aerofoil and two ailerons, the S1-D had the flat bottomed aerofoil and four ailerons and the S1-S had the symeterical section and four ailerons. I assisted (in a small way) in the rebuild of an S1-D a few years back, this one in fact: http://www.airplane-pictures.net/image115956.html

The S1-D wasn't built in the same sort of numbers as the S1-C or the S1-S but there are still plenty about.

I'd like to build a model of it some day. Yours is lovely and I'm sure it'll be a great performer once complete, keep up the good work!

Pete
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Old Mar 21, 2011, 10:18 PM
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Rick Ludtke's Avatar
USA, WA, Freeland
Joined Nov 2010
226 Posts
Yes indeed Pete. The S-1S does have a symetrical airfoil, and symetrical ailerons.

The S-1C has a Clark Y flat bottomed airfoil and two ailerons. The S-1D featured a symetrical airfoil wing and four ailerons, but of the Freize variety (not symetrical). Freize ailerons are helpful in offsetting adverse yaw in upright flight, but work against you in inverted flight. The Frieze aileron and the D model did not last long before the S model drawings were made availible. The C and D model were sold only as drawings for home building only. The S plans were sold and home-built in the greatest numbers, but were also built for customers by Curtis Pitts's factory in the experimental category, and some S model were even produced and FAA certified in standard category.

The original C model had the short fuselage. The D model is a bit harder to be sure about, because many builders may have lengthened their D fuselages on their own, as the C models were being completed and the shortcomings became somewhat socialized. Builders also upgraded their C models to the D wing design when the D drawings became availible, and even retrofitted the D model wings onto their flying C model fuselages, creating a fleet of mixed short and long fuselage D models.

All S models were the the longer fuselage. The S drawings lengthened the fuselage 3 inches in the fwd cockpit bay to accomidate taller pilots. Many C and D model airplanes have been retrofitted with S wings, but only the S model has the four symetrical ailerons, symetrical wings, and the long fuselage.

Curtis actually patented the use of different airfoils on top and bottom wings to make upright and inverted flight, and upright and inverted stall charectoristics more simular to each other. The S model also introduced this design feature.

Later the S was re-designed for certified production as the S-1T model. The S-1T received the 200 hp Lycoming with the bigger, heavier cylinders, and a constant speed prop.

That is a very attractive S1 Pete. Its got spring gear, and an enlarged rudder. I don't see spades on the ailerons, which confirms that it has the D model Freize ailerons. The S ailerons, being symmetrical, are far too heavy to fly without the aerodynamic boost of the spades.

I included a couple of pictures of the S-1S I owned and competed with during the early and mid 1990's.

Cheers,

Rick
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Old Mar 21, 2011, 11:16 PM
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USA, WA, Freeland
Joined Nov 2010
226 Posts
Status Update 3/21/2011

My power system arrived today from Heads Up RC. Boy, this is a big motor! Big battery and ESC too! This is a dramatic step up in power and physical size over our previous models.

Time to figure out how much impact this power system will have on the airframe.

Wheel pants have come out of the molds, been assembled, and have received bodywork and primer.

Cheers,

Rick
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Old Mar 22, 2011, 07:03 AM
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Lincoln, UK
Joined Jun 2005
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Thanks for the info, Rick, that was certainly a nice Pitts you owned and flew, will you be finishing yours as a replica? Interestingly, the S1-D that I linked crashed originally due to an aileron spade catching in long grass on takeoff. The pilot walke away unhurt but the aeroplane was a mess. It took more than three years to put her back together again. The spring steel undercarriage and enlarged rudder were incorporated into the rebuild.

Pete
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Old Mar 23, 2011, 11:32 PM
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USA, WA, Freeland
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Hi Pete,

I don't have many pictures of my Pitts, and these pictures do not show it at it's bests. These were taken hours after I arrived home with the airplane from Houston Texas where I had purchased it. That was a 2800 mile trip that took two full flying days to complete. You can see that the 14 gallon ferry tank was still mounted to the belly.

I suffered a wire strike along the way (my bad), which resulted in the duct tape visible in the pictures. I had to repair some light rib damage to the top wing, recover the top wing, replaced the nose bowl and spinner, replace 4 bent flying wires, and did a few additional fabric repairs around the airplane. I went out to the airport the following day to take her all apart and bring home. I think she was back in the air in less than a month.

After the repairs, and working bugs out from previous owner, she settled into being a nice high performer. The Lycoming IO-360 had been modified with high compression helicopter pistons, oil spray piston cooling, and a number of other mods, resulting in aprox 220 hp (increased from 180). With the normal cruise prop (76x60) she would climb at 3000'/min, and cruise at 165mph.

I can imagine that tall grass could be devastating. The rudder authority at take off speeds would not be able to overcome the drag from tall grass connecting with one wing, and the spade would get pulled aft, deflecting the right ailerons trailing edge up, causing the right wing to drop and contact the ground, and then it is all over. A cartwheel would be very possible.

I'm glad the airplane was repairable. The hard work paid off, she's a sharp looking bird.

I intend to finish the model in the traditional "Red Devils" livery, red with white sunburst. As much as I liked my airplanes unique colors, I still feel that Pitts Specials should be red.

Cheers,

Rick
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Old Mar 24, 2011, 03:29 AM
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Lincoln, UK
Joined Jun 2005
615 Posts
Thanks for sharing your story Rick, I noticed the 14 gallon ferry tank and think it looks great. Obviously it has no place during aerobatics but it certainly adds an almost warlike look to the aircraft. I bet your 2800 mile odyssey in the Pitts was quite an adventure in itself!

You're quite right, G-BETI did cartwheel following her altercation with the long grass but due to the immensely strong steel fuselage tubing, the pilot was uninjured. The rebuild consisted of a full strip to bare metal of the fuselage tubes, straightening of the fuselage structure and replacement of buckled tubes, replacement of most wooden parts in the fuselage, replacement of all metal panels and fixings, replacement of the undercarriage for a spring steel unit and new engine bearers, complete engine rebuild, new propeller, rebuild of the wings, including replacement of some rather major components, new flying wires, new tail surfaces (including the larger rudder), new tailwheel, full rewire and a redesign of the cockpit interior, new canopy and new fabric and paint throughout. Since being rebuilt, G-BETI has been joined by another S1 painted in the same scheme and they're now seen on the UK airshow circuit together. It was a proud day when she first flew again, having seen her turning up years previously, bent and buckled, strapped to the bed of a low loader and looking very sorry for herself.

I like the red Pitts scheme, very original, having said that, the old Rothman's scheme brings back fond memories from my childhood, there are almost too many great colour schemes to choose from with the Pitts!

Cheers,

Pete
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Old Mar 24, 2011, 02:19 PM
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Apex, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Ludtke View Post
Yes indeed Pete. The S-1S does have a symetrical airfoil, and symetrical ailerons.
Good summation of S-1 Pitts', but small correction - the S-1S does not have symmetrical ailerons. It's not a true "S" if the factory didn't build it. Was yours unmolested from the factory-produced S-1E kits? I thought they were configured the same as the type-certificated model. But then yours had spring gear, so it was molested a little. I have a factory-built S-1S - flat bottom ailerons. The first Pitts-built S-1 to have symmetrical ailerons was the S-1T.
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Old Mar 24, 2011, 10:34 PM
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Your Right RV3, I forgot the S-1E, which was the homebuilt S-1S. The S name is broadly applied to even the homebuilt E's which is as you pointed out, technically incorrect.

My S-1 was indeed an E. Before I purchased it from the seller, I tracked down the original builder to learn its history. It was originally built as a very stock S-1E, then a landing accident caused the lower longerons and landing gear to be replaced with the spring gear. Rather than build new wings a second time the bulder purchased T wings from Aviat, and built up the high performance engine. When I repaired the top wing, I could see the Aviat part markings on the wood and metal parts.

I had forgotten that the T introduced the symmetrical aileron, but you are right about that too. I was fourtunate to have the T wings on my airplane. The T was advertised to roll at 360 d/second which is about how my S-1 would roll. My airplane was lighter than the T, with simular horsepower, but no constant speed prop. It would have been real interesting to put my S1 next to a T to see how they might perform against each other. The T would cruise faster, but it might not have out climbed me.

This is a great conversation guy's. As a recovering aviator, I haven't thought much about this kind of stuff in years!

Rick
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Old Mar 25, 2011, 11:08 AM
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United States, CA, Garden Grove
Joined Oct 2000
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My flying buddy Gene has a smaller ARF Pitts that flies well but is somewhat of a handfull. I noticed that his motor/geardrive has a lot of downthrust, didn't notice what type of airfoil. All of my bipes so far want to pitch up after takeoff and after sudden application of full throttle probably due to a pendulum effect. Your mileage may vary. Glad to see that you won't be disappointed by insufficient power. No tail heaviness allowed for the maiden.
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Old Apr 02, 2011, 02:02 PM
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USA, WA, Freeland
Joined Nov 2010
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Status Update 4/2/2011

Well, the new power system is mounted, the biggest challenge was modifiying the internal fuselege structure to accept the big battery. The motor fit easily, with the only other adjustment being the increase in the hole diameter where the motor passes through the nose bowl attach bulkhead.

This power system is much heavier than the system of our orignal plan, so the 55 oz estimated flying weight will be missed by several ounces, but with 70 oz of thrust availible with this power system, we can afford the increase. My guess is that the flying weight will end up around 60 ounces, or maybe a little more.

The wings and fuselage are all covered in red now, and the white trim is in work.

The Pitts is very close to being flight ready, but unfourtunatly the pacific northwest weather is not yet ready to cooperate.

I am afraid I don't have any new pictures yet, but I will try to get some this weekend.

Cheers,

Rick
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Old Apr 03, 2011, 03:52 PM
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Rich,

You have a lot of very interesting information on this thread. Very well done.

The plane looks to be coming along nicely. It's going to be fun to fly.

Eric
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Old Apr 03, 2011, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by SubManEric View Post
Rich,

You have a lot of very interesting information on this thread. Very well done.

The plane looks to be coming along nicely. It's going to be fun to fly.

Eric
Thanks Eric,

I am starting to get nervous, as now I will have to fly it! I need to get some flying time in in with the Bucker Youngmeister to get my skills dusted off- which means I need a break in the weather. I no longer have any trainer-types laying around, but fourtunatly the Bucker is not difficult to fly. Your going to like flying yours I guarantee it.

Cheers,

Rick
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Old Apr 03, 2011, 11:57 PM
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USA, WA, Freeland
Joined Nov 2010
226 Posts
Status Update 4/3/2011

Red cover and paint complete, white trim in work. Cowling painted and installed. Right half of upper wing sunburst trim complete, left half in work. Lower wing sunburst complete whith black trim.

Cheers,

Rick
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Old Apr 04, 2011, 07:43 AM
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Methuen, MA
Joined Sep 2002
870 Posts
Looks great Rick! Can't wait to hear how it flies.
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