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Old 05-12-2009, 04:18 PM
777drvr is offline
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Re: Has anyone owned or flown in a Pitts?

Hi Guys,

Just noticed this thread . I've been considering buying a Christen Eagle II . I flew one example last Monday . Quite the little rock n roll machine ! I don't have much taildragger time . Only about 50 in Citabrias and Pawnees so the t/o landing worries me a bit . I'm sure with the proper training it will be all right though ! Anyone have any experience with the Eagle ? A couple pics of the one I'm considering...

Brett , any chance of that spreadsheet you mentioned in your post ?

Marc
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Old 05-13-2009, 12:39 PM
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Re: Has anyone owned or flown in a Pitts?

Marc,

I haven't flown a Christen Eagle II, but I have flown a Pitts. I got my training from Steve Wolf, and share the sentiment of so many others in this thread regarding his capacity. If you go to him for training, remember that I'm only a short drive from his place.

I understand the Eagles to be similar to the Pitts. There is no comparison to the Citabria. The Eagles and Pitts present visibility issues and there is a rudder dance that you have to maintain. There is no other plane like it. The pedals move only a few inches and the short coupling provides little stability. You'll be behind the plane the first few times. Truly, the Yak-54 is much easier to handle on takeoff than a Pitts S2b, and I bet Matt's Cap is as well.

What I recommend you do is get some time in a Citabria and fly it from the back seat. This should only be done with a qualified pilot in the front, of course. Have them block your view, and keep your head still. Use your peripheral vision to guide the plane down the runway. That will help you prepare for the visibility issues. You can't see very much from the back seat of these little bipes, though I have heard that the Eagle is a little better than the pitts in this regard, at least to the side. The front, of course, is fully blocked in any aerobatic taildragger as long as you are in a three point stance. In two-point, things are better, unless you have a big round engine in the front like a proper airplane should!

I always say that if I ever dent Russian Thunder, it will be during the taxi!

All this said, by all means, do not hesitate to buy something like the Eagle. You will never regret it. You can certainly learn to handle the airplane. You just need to learn to flare a little lower than in a 777.

Jim
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Old 05-13-2009, 12:41 PM
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Re: Has anyone owned or flown in a Pitts?

Oh, sorry Marc, I just re-read your post and realized that you already have experience flying the Eagle...I misunderstood...so some of my advice was mistargeted...but rather than edit it out I'll leave it in case it helps someone else out.

Jim
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Old 05-13-2009, 01:01 PM
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Re: Has anyone owned or flown in a Pitts?

Hi Marc,
The Eagle is a well engineered and if properly built, is a great aerobat up to Advanced IAC stuff. It is probably closest to Pitts S2-A with the 200hp Lyc up front (assume the one you're looking at has this engine). I've only flown in one Eagle, although I have many hours in S2-A & S2-B and over 1500 in my old S1-T.

Jim hit the nail on the head regarding viz over the nose (zero during flare and on the ground)....close-in and curving base-to-final approaches are a good way to keep the touchdown zone in sight until flare. Then it's sit up tall, use your peripheral vision and stay on the rudder during flair and roll out. DO NOT relax until you are down to a fast walking speed...and even then, be ready on the rudder pedals. You can see a bit better than in a Pitts due to the lower canopy line and large width canopy.

If you can get some time/practice on a good grass runway, that's the beans for building confidence with a short-coupled taildragger. Of course, since it is a 2-place, you're good to go with a qualified pilot. Another trick is to put some extra cushions under you butt to help see, but they don't help during aerobatics, as they'll let you squirm around some. I also like to sit as low as I could in my Pitts to keep my head as close to the roll axis as possible.

Earle
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Old 05-13-2009, 07:26 PM
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Re: Has anyone owned or flown in a Pitts?

Marc,

Another thought...if you've only flown in the Eagle from the front seat, you might want to sit in the back before you judge the visibility. In most of these planes you can actually see a bit better in the back than in the front. It's surprising but true. The wings take up less of the vertical FOV (because the pilot's line of sight is more in line with the wings) and the fuselage tapers toward the rear, providing a wider view down and to the sides as well. Both of those factors make for a bit better view from the back.

If anybody reading this is considering going to training in a Pitts, which I highly recommend, wear the smallest shoes you have. If you get to fly from the back seat in an S2B, you'll find that your feet have to fit into fairly narrow channels. The first day of my training I wore a low boot and ended up getting my foot caught with the rudder fully engaged! I don't think Steve even noticed...as an aerobatic instructor he's very used to hamfisted piloting...whenever you mess up he just says "wheeeee!!!" and enjoys the ride.

Jim
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Old 05-14-2009, 08:15 AM
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Re: Has anyone owned or flown in a Pitts?

The above comments are good regarding the Eagle. The only addition that I would make is to check the weight and balance closely of the one you want. Many will be too aft on cg for aerobatic category with 2 normal sized pilots in it. Spin recovery is dodgey with an aft cg. They are typically ok for normal category only with 2 people. I weighed only 160 lbs when I was teaching full time and often could not give dual in eagles but, had to use a Pitts instead.
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Old 03-30-2016, 04:00 PM
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Hey Rob I have to agree that N49337 is one of the best S1T Pitts around. Thats because I was also it's owner. I think I may have sold it to you! Jeff Garibotti
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Old 03-30-2016, 07:17 PM
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I owned a Pitts S1-? for 5 years and trained in Christen Eagle and Pitts 2S-B. The Eagle and Pitts S2-A are very similar and Earle stated. All Pitts type airplanes are pretty blind for over the nose vis in take off and landing attitude, take off are quick and should not present any problems as long as you are on the rudder to prevent the yaw to the left till the tail comes up. Landings are blind and the rollout last a lot longer than the T.O. So, stay with it till it's back in the hangar. The S1 series airplanes are very light on all the control pressures and very sweet. Someone ask me one time what it was like to land a Pitts and I said it's like driving down a blacktop road at night with the hood up and lights off at 80 miles an hour. Slipping it on the final approach helps to be sure you don't have traffic ahead of you. Just keep your eye on the edge of the runway and maintain the margin through out the rollout. Get plenty of tail wheel time and respect what the rudder is for and you will be able to stay ahead of the airplane. Most fun you can have with your cloths on.
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Old 03-30-2016, 07:58 PM
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Owned an S1-S for several years, and have flown S2A & B as well as the Eagle 2 quite a bit.

All the little short coupled bipes are exciting to land for sure, but once you break ground, you'll have a perma-smile on your face with any of them. From the S1C to the latest S2C, they're all just an absolute joy in the air.

But yeah.. on landing they'll challenge you for sure. I grew to love landing the S1, because of that challenge, and it was a great reminder to never get complacent with any flying..

Short Version: Get one.. you'll LOVE it.
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Old 03-31-2016, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Havoc View Post
Hey Rob I have to agree that N49337 is one of the best S1T Pitts around. Thats because I was also it's owner. I think I may have sold it to you! Jeff Garibotti
Wow! That's bringing up an old thread. Yep, Jeff, I bought it from you. I still remember driving up to Gary to meet you.

Rob
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Old 03-31-2016, 10:03 AM
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Doug, what was the registration number of the S -1 you owned? What that the airplane you competed with in IAC?
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Old 06-20-2016, 02:46 PM
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a pitts is a good plane if you have at least 50 hours in a tailwheel and 200 total time (thats if youre really getting the hang of flying) i recon you get a champ or citabria for 2 years and fly the crap out of them, you should get a decent plane for 15-30k, then you can get a RV-6 or decathlon for 40-100k (this isnt an airshow plane just sport aerobatics)
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