Of all the hundreds of shots I took that day, this one is my all time favorite. I seemed to get the light bouncing off their wings at just the right angle.
Please enlarge them by clicking on the picture.
Now I do not have a lens at all as coming out of the show in the dark, I tripped over a shoelace and broke it (the lens and the shoelace)!! I have left is a 200mm. Darn!! Oh well, these things happen!!
The Pitts Special (company desingations S1 and S2) is a series of light aerobatic biplane designed by Curtis Pitts. It has accumulated many competition wins since its first flight in 1944. The Pitts biplanes dominated world aerobatic competition in the 1960s and 1970s and, even today, remains a potent competition aircraft in the lower categories.
Curtis Pitts began the design of a single-seat aerobatic biplane in 1943–1944. The design has been refined continuously since the prototype's first flight in September 1944, however, the current Pitts S2 still remains quite close to the original in concept and in design.
In 1962 Curtis Pitts set up Pitts Enterprises to sell plans of the S-1C to homebuilders.
The aircraft was popularized by Betty Skelton, Caro Bayley and other air show performers, which led to the offering of plans around 1960.
Pitts produced limited numbers of aircraft during the 1940s and 1950s. It is widely accepted that the Pitts Special is the standard by which all other aerobatic aircraft are judged. After a number of home-built aircraft were produced from rough hand-drawn plans produced by Pitts, more professionally drawn plans went on sale in 1962. While many home-built aircraft were built in the 1960s, earning the S1 a reputation as an excellent aerobatic aircraft, Pitts worked on the design of a two-seat aerobatic trainer version, the S-2, which first flew in 1967 and gained its type certificate in 1971. Factory-built aircraft produced by the Aerotek company at Afton, Wyoming were joined in production by the single-seat S-1S in 1973.
The design's popularity grew significantly following Bob Herendeen's participation on the USA Aerobatic Team in a Pitts Special in the World Aerobatic Competition in Moscow, Russia in 1966.
In 1972, the US National Aerobatic Team won the World Championships flying only Pitts biplanes.
In 1977 Curtis Pitts sold his interests in the Pitts S1 & S2 to Doyle Child. Child later sold the rights in 1981 to Frank Christenson, who continued production at the Afton plant under the guise of Christen Industries. The rights for home-built versions of the Pitts were sold in 1994 to Steen Aero Lab, with the Afton factory and production rights being transferred to Aviat.
Certified versions of the compact Pitts are now produced by Aviat in Afton, Wyoming. It is available as an S1 single-seater with up to 200 hp (150 kW) flat-4 Lycoming engine and a 17 ft 4 in (5.28 m) wingspan, or as an S2 two-seater variant featuring a 260 hp (194 kW) flat-6 Lycoming and a 20 ft (6.1 m) wingspan. Pitts Specials have been equipped with engines of up to 450 hp (338 kW).
The Pitts held sway over the aerobatic world championships until the rise of the monoplane, though it remains very competitive in all levels of competition and remains a favorite of air show performers worldwide. The first monoplane to topple the Pitts from the top of unlimited aerobatic competition was the Russian- built and designed Yak-50.
Today, the single-seat Pitts S1-S plans are available from Aviat Aircraft. The S1-C and derivative S1-SS plans and kits are supplied by Steen Aero Lab in Palm Bay, Florida. The S1 continues to provide extremely high performance at a relatively low cost. Many hundreds of homebuilders have successfully completed and flown the Pitts since plans became available in 1960.