The Pitts Special, model designations S-1 (single seat) and S-2 (two seat), are a series of light aerobatic biplanes that were designed by Curtis Pitts. All S-1 and S-2 models are variations evolved from the basic 1944 design. The S-2B is a two seat high performance aircraft purpose built for aerobatic flight. This aircraft is a great aerobatics training platform due to its excellent maneuverability, performance and predictability. It has accumulated many competition wins since its first flight in 1944. The Pitts Special dominated world aerobatic competition in the 1960’s and 1970’s and even today, it remains a potent aircraft in the lower aerobatic categories. The design of a two-seat trainer version, the S-2, flew in 1967 and gained its type certification in 1971.
With these designs, Curtis Pitts set a standard for high performance aerobatic biplanes that endures to this day. The first Pitts, known as “Little Stinker,” carried Betty Skelton to the US Women’s Aerobatic Championship in 1948, and the second one helped Caro Bailey secure the same honor in1952. The two seat S-2B debuted in 1966 and has been a champion ever since.
Currently, these aircraft are offered in plans-only form by Aviat Aircraft, Inc. of Afton, Wyoming, This type of aircraft, which won the International Aerobatic Championship in Russia, is flown by Gene Soucy, Charlie Hilliard, and Tom Proberezny.
This aircraft is on loan from the late Jan Collmer of Dallas, Texas, who flew it on the airshow circuit for many years, sponsored by FINA.