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Old 11-29-2009, 08:05 PM   #1
Devil_Inside
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Default Great Planes 1/3 scale Pitts Special - Engine recommendation?

Hello! I recently purchased a NIB Great Planes Pitts from a club member, and I would like to start building my first "gasser", however I have no idea what engine would be a good match for it. The plane has been discontinued for a few years now so there isn't too much information on the web

The manufacturer suggests a 41cc gas, but I am guessing that this will give me just borderline performance thus I started looking into 50cc-55cc engines, but I am afraid that this might be a little too much power and most importantly weight for this airplane. I am also planning on installing a smoke system in it so I am afraid that I'll end up with a flying brick in the end with all this extra weight....

Here are the specs of the plane:

Top Wingspan: 68.5 in (1740 mm)
Bottom Wingspan: 64.3 in (1630 mm)
Wing Area: 1303 inē (84 dmē)
Weight: 14-16 lb (6.35-7.25kg)
Wing Loading: 25-28 oz/ftē (75-85 g/dmē)
Length: 70 in (1780 mm)
Requires: 2-stroke 1.6-2.7 cu in (26-45 cc) glow engine or 2.5 cu in (41 cc) gasoline engine, 4-6 channel radio w/6-8 servos
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Old 11-29-2009, 08:16 PM   #2
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Default Re: Great Planes 1/3 scale Pitts Special - Engine recommendation?

A guy that i fly with(flyflybob here on FG) has one of these, he has the christen eagle and the pitts, i believe his pitts had a brison 3.2 and his Christen Eagle had a da 50 on a pitts muffler, i hope he sees this thread and chimes in. Both of his bipes were AMAZING, he does a great job on his builds! EXTREMELY CLEAN! I'll PM, him this thread, hopefully he'll chime in. Hope that helps-Andrew
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Old 11-29-2009, 10:27 PM   #3
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Default Re: Great Planes 1/3 scale Pitts Special - Engine recommendation?

Thank you, 3dAndrew - that would certainly help!

Anybody else?
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Old 11-29-2009, 10:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: Great Planes 1/3 scale Pitts Special - Engine recommendation?

DA-50 or BME 50, ZDZ 50, 3W 50, hell any decent 50cc engine would rock that Pitts. I'd stick with a lightweight one though. Lightweight is 3 to 4lbs with muff ignition etc. Lighter planes just fly better. DA-50 and BME 50 are the lightest, but the DA is your best bet for torque and it will allow for a larger prop, 23x8 / 23x10 or 24x8 / 24x10. The BME is actually a couple of grams lighter and has a side mount carb which is easier to accomodate. But the BME 50 likes a 22x8 the best and doesnt perform as good with a 23 inch prop, and the the extra torque from the DA more than makes up for a couple of grams!!! So the DA would be your best performer.
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Old 11-30-2009, 01:51 AM   #5
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Default Re: Great Planes 1/3 scale Pitts Special - Engine recommendation?

A good friend of mine had that plane with a DA50, Slimline muffler, and a 23/8 Mejlik. I flew it a few times, don't waste your money on a smaller engine. Wait, sorry, he had a stock DA muffler on that plane. Lots of power, it was cool!!!!
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Old 11-30-2009, 08:29 AM   #6
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Default Re: Great Planes 1/3 scale Pitts Special - Engine recommendation?

Ours is one of the first kits. (Had the forward upper wing bracket mod done to it) It flew hundreds of flights with a Zenoah G-45 turning an 18-8-14 prop. The wire from the kill switch broke off and touched the crankcase causing the motor to die on take-off. Since I had just made a sharp downwind turn and the motor died, you can do the math on this one......... I fixed everything but in the process, I wound up stripping the whole airframe, sanding and priming the cowl, pants, I-struts and cabanes. I've cut open the front cockpit and added a Christian Eagle canopy to make this thing a REAL S-2! The G-45 with the aforementioned prop pulls it around pretty good. I may go back with it or put on a new DA-50. I'm a couple of projects away right now but will make the decision soon.
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Old 11-30-2009, 10:09 AM   #7
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Default Re: Great Planes 1/3 scale Pitts Special - Engine recommendation?

Quote: Originally Posted by Extra nuts
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DA-50 or BME 50, ZDZ 50, 3W 50, hell any decent 50cc engine would rock that Pitts.

All of them are great engines, but quite expensive unfortunately. One thing I probably forgot to mention is that I am on a budged and I am trying to get the best bang for the buck from the "budget" engines.
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Old 11-30-2009, 10:19 AM   #8
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Default Re: Great Planes 1/3 scale Pitts Special - Engine recommendation?

Quote: Originally Posted by WangoTango
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Ours is one of the first kits. (Had the forward upper wing bracket mod done to it) It flew hundreds of flights with a Zenoah G-45 turning an 18-8-14 prop. The wire from the kill switch broke off and touched the crankcase causing the motor to die on take-off. Since I had just made a sharp downwind turn and the motor died, you can do the math on this one......... I fixed everything but in the process, I wound up stripping the whole airframe, sanding and priming the cowl, pants, I-struts and cabanes. I've cut open the front cockpit and added a Christian Eagle canopy to make this thing a REAL S-2! The G-45 with the aforementioned prop pulls it around pretty good. I may go back with it or put on a new DA-50. I'm a couple of projects away right now but will make the decision soon.
WT
Sorry to hear about your loss, but I am glad to hear you are in the process of rebuilding it! Since you actually had a Pitts I would like to ask you some questions if you don't mind

1. Can you please tell me what are the flying characteristics of this plane (generally) ? Is it somewhat forgiving in the air and how does it behave one landings? I am a little concerned that it might be too much of a plane for me and wanted to get some advice from an actual owner.

2. What is that wing bracket mod? I believe mine is one of the earlier models as well and I already discovered that I would have to modify part of the front wing spar, because of the cabane bracket mounting holes...so I was wondering if there are any other "flaws" that need to be addressed on the earlier models.

3. Were you happy with that G-45? I am not looking for 3D performance, but I would like to have just a little bit more power on my models to get me out of trouble when needed If that G-45 was adequate for this plane are there any other engines in this size that it compares with? Just asking because I noticed the price tag on the Zenoah
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Old 11-30-2009, 10:20 AM   #9
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Default Re: Great Planes 1/3 scale Pitts Special - Engine recommendation?

Sold now, but I had a DL 50 with stock muffler on mine. Flew well at a little over 18lbs. Replaced the cabane mounts on the top wing with 4130 steel. I had the Christen Eagle as well and the stock mounts broke but got it back on the ground. Replaced with 4130, and incorporated that mod on the Pitts before I flew it.

The price of the DL isn't bad, not much more than what you would have to spend on a "budget" engine. Anything else you buy for cheaper will probably be of less displacement but be just as heavy or heavier.
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Old 11-30-2009, 10:31 AM   #10
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Default Re: Great Planes 1/3 scale Pitts Special - Engine recommendation?

I have one with a 3MM 53 on it. I hope to fly it this week if the weather holds.

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Old 11-30-2009, 10:35 AM   #11
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Default Re: Great Planes 1/3 scale Pitts Special - Engine recommendation?

Quote: Originally Posted by Koal
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Sold now, but I had a DL 50 with stock muffler on mine. Flew well at a little over 18lbs. Replaced the cabane mounts on the top wing with 4130 steel. I had the Christen Eagle as well and the stock mounts broke but got it back on the ground. Replaced with 4130, and incorporated that mod on the Pitts before I flew it.

The price of the DL isn't bad, not much more than what you would have to spend on a "budget" engine. Anything else you buy for cheaper will probably be of less displacement but be just as heavy or heavier.

18lbs seems a bit heavy, but than again, I have never owned a Giant scale before....did you have smoke in it as well or not? How did it fly?

I agree about the DL's and probably this is what I will end up choosing, but I wanted to do some research prior buying one. Since the DL50 has now been replaced by the DLE55 I am guessing that this would be OK as well? Did you have to do any major modification to the firewall or anything to fit that engine inside the cowl at the appropriate distance from the firewall to the prop hub? What length stand offs did you use? Thanks!
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Old 11-30-2009, 10:39 AM   #12
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Default Re: Great Planes 1/3 scale Pitts Special - Engine recommendation?

Here is a pic of the Eagle. Flying wires and Solartex covering with paint. Another difference between the two is you'll notice that I cross braced the landing gear on the Pitts. I liked the way it landed better with the stiffer gear. I saved about 1.5 lbs by sticking with the stock covering and leaving off the flying wires (they're non-functional). It definitely flies better at the lighter weight.
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Old 11-30-2009, 10:51 AM   #13
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Default Re: Great Planes 1/3 scale Pitts Special - Engine recommendation?

Quote: Originally Posted by Devil_Inside
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18lbs seems a bit heavy, but than again, I have never owned a Giant scale before....did you have smoke in it as well or not? How did it fly?

I agree about the DL's and probably this is what I will end up choosing, but I wanted to do some research prior buying one. Since the DL50 has now been replaced by the DLE55 I am guessing that this would be OK as well? Did you have to do any major modification to the firewall or anything to fit that engine inside the cowl at the appropriate distance from the firewall to the prop hub? What length stand offs did you use? Thanks!
18lbs was not with smoke, but it was with pilot and 3 Nimh batteries. 1 for ignition and 2 for redundancy on the receiver. I replaced the stock foam wheels with lightweight Du-bro ones. The Eagle was basically the same model with a few changes so that's why I'm using it as a comparison. I did run some screws into the firewall on it, but didn't on the Pitts. I didn't put too many flights on the Pitts, it's under new ownership but no problems with the security of the firewall yet.

Yes, the DLE 55 has the same dimensions as the 50 and the stock standoffs worked fine for motor placement. They fly very nice but definitely not a 3D machine. I do love their looks though!
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Old 01-04-2012, 03:59 AM   #14
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I know this is an old thread, but does anyone have photos of the engine mounts and throttle setup using a dl50 or dle55?? Bit of a long shot I know
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Old 01-04-2012, 06:23 AM   #15
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I have one as well ,It has a os 35bgxt 35cc glow , This plane is perfect except its glow.
I think my fix will be to just convert the engine to gas.
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