The airplane was
originally flown with an Olympic 80cc
chain saw engine converted to an
aircraft engine by Fred Walman around
1978. The engine was very heavy, perhaps
around 8-9 pounds. As a result lead was
necessary in the tail to balance.
flew at the Byron’s Originals Giant
Scale Event in Ida Grove, Iowa in 1978.
The airplane and engine were almost
banned from flying due to outrageously
large engines and 35# weight!
The restoration took
place to overall make it a better,
lighter airplane that would perform like
the real Pitts S2A. The original had
inadequate servos and radio system and
along with the engine, performance was
sluggish. The original weighed around 35
pounds dry as opposed to the current
weight of 25 pounds dry.
The plane was built
from Andy Sheber plans (designed for
Quadra 35 cc power). The color scheme
was from color pictures obtained when
the airplane was first built nearly 40
years ago. The Marion Cole color scheme
now is the same one Sherwood had on my
Pitts back then.
The original build
was started around 1979 and the
restoration began about the beginning of
The difference being
pursued is a lighter aircraft with a
more powerful lighter engine and a radio
that can let it perform to its
Two Pitts were built
originally by Chris O'Connor and
Sherwood. The subject Pitts was formerly
Sherwood had sold his in the late
1980's. Chris built fuselages and
Sherwood built wings and tails.
Construction is of
spruce, plywood and balsa. Covering is
Sig Koverall with Stits Polybrush as a
base and Rustoleum for paint from the
spray can. The engine is a DLE 111 with
a Xoar 27x10 prop and headers straight
off the exhaust port rather than the
stock dual muffler which would take away
from a scale appearance. A Graupner 12
channel radio is on order and servos are
the modern day high torque variety.
Batteries are 123's.
Challenges in the
build were to determine what was right
and wrong about the airframe. Though
this aircraft seemed to fly well back
when it was new, wing, tail and thrust
line did not meet what he expected to be
correct. Adjustments were made to a
standard he believes to be correct for
an aerobatic biplane. Sherwood no longer
have the plans to confirm if they were
right or wrong, so measurements were
taken from his 1/3 scale Weeks Special
and applied to the Pitts.
Nothing really new
has been learned in the restoration of
the Pitts. To come will be learning the
operation of an engine much bigger than
hes used to. Also, Sherwood intends to
install a smoke system once he learns
how well it flies.
The Pitts was
"tacked" together to be able to show it
at the last Scale Flyers meeting of the
season. Flying wires and tail brace
wires are yet to be fit and installed.
The gas and smoke oil tank mounting
board is made but the plumbing is still
to be done. Stars are supposed to be on
the blue sunbeam on the wings and tail
and red checkerboard still needs to be
applied to the bottom of the wings and
tail. The windshield is made and ready
to install. Fairings between the landing
gear and fuselage still need to be
figured out, made, and installed. The
engine is new so some ground running
will take place to confirm that it will
be reliable in the air.
Once Sherwood feels
confident the Pitts is correct in every
way, it will be given its maiden flight.
Certainly, it is expected to be in the
air by early summer. The maiden flight
will be at SMMAC Field later this