Pitts Special

Technical Specifications
Name : Pitts S-1T-GM Special
Family : Acrobatic biplane
Manufacturer : Giorgio Marangoni
Nation : Italy
Production Year : 1984
Fusolage Length : 5,25 m
Span : 5,40 m
Height : 1,90 m
Wing Area : 9,15 m²
Empty : 478 kg
Maximum Take-off :  624 kg
Lycoming IO-540 da 300 HP
Maximum Speed : 338 km/h

The Pitts Special is one of the most famous and most successful aerobatic aircraft of all time, still used in competitions over 65 years from its first flight. The Pitts S-1 was designed in 1943-44 by Curtis Pitts (1916-2005), who built with his friend Phil Quigley. It was a diminutive biplane with welded steel tube frame, wooden swept wings, fixed landing gear and an engine of only 65 HP. Flown by Pitts himself on 28 August 1945 and soon fitted with a 90 HP engine, the S-1 flew its first competitions in 1947 with Betty Skelton, who won three US women aerobatics championships in it in 1948-50. In 1955 there existed only five S-1.
When Pitts began offering homebuilders the S-1 drawings in 1962, he unwittingly launched a series of increasingly improved variants that made the bi-plane eternally young. The two-seat S-2A appeared in 1967 and introduced new symmetrical airfoils, ailerons on all four wings and a 200 HP engine. Pitts then began offering kits and complete aircraft first through Aerotek, then through Christen and finally through Aviat. Several military and commercial display teams, including Alpi Eagles in Italy, have operated Pitts biplanes. The Pitts Special on display is a homebuilt S-1T, built in 3,500 man-hours in 1980-84 by Giorgio Marangoni (1937-2009), an executive from Milan with a strong, built-in passion for flying. He earned his license in 1963 and began flying aerobatics in 1974, eventually competing in 12 Italian championships. Marangoni flew his I-PITT on 14 July 1984 with a 200 HP engine and used it in the 1989 European championship and the 1990 world championship. Over the years Marangoni gradually modified and perfected the basic design, also installing a 300 HP engine with three-bladed propeller in 1992. This made his Pitts unique, instantly recognized and much admired in air shows, particularly at low altitudes.
I-PITT flew a total of 1,034.42 hours and made its last flight on 4 July 2007. The Marangoni family presented it to the Museum in 2010.

Thanks to: Famiglia Marangoni.

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