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pitts S-1-11B super stinker kit

Posted By:
Ron Pearson
#1 Posted: 6/23/2011 01:17:50

Hello everyone,

I was reading on Aviat that one can order the parts to build a 320 hp S-1-11B super stinker for fairly inexpensive (inexpensive being 60-70k).  It is difficult to find prices of all these things on the internet but it seems like you can get an IO-540 or 580 (un-certified) for around 25-30k, I am not sure how much the constant speed 3 blade prop is but im guessing thats the second most expensive piece, I am taking a wild shot in the dark that the prop would be around 8k (un-certified).  After that is the frame and the wings, I have heard the frame is only 5k or so.  Also since this would be a kit build can a pitts wing be made out of aluminum ribs instead of wood?  I got really excited reading about the super stinker kits and how cheap (relativly) they can be built for but I am not sure if that is really reality.  Also the entire fabric job I am guessing would be around 10k.

So I am guessing that between the engine, prop and fabric would be the bulk of the costs at around 45-50k and the frame and wings would be less.  Am I all wet thinking I could have something like this built for 60-70k and in reality it will cost well over 100k or is that a reasonable figure.

I plan on building a hangar out of parts I can find and just pouring a stem wall and leaving the floor dirt and finding discounted trusses that were mis-ordered, the tin for the walls I am worried about, my dad has a hangar door laying around so I might be able to get that.  I have an over sized one car garage where I could fabricate most of this and just put the wings on in the hangar.

I have an A&P friend that quoted me on the fabric job so I will also ask him about the rest of the assembly and relative costs of what im trying to do.

Also would the engine or the parts and pieces get ruined sitting in a garage for too long if I buy the items as I have money.  I am also worried about the costs running up to way beyond what I expect to spend in hidden costs when I could just buy a s1-T and start flying and start regretting having a garage full of pieces that is going to cost me a fortune to have put together.

Budd Davisson
Homebuilder or Craftsman
#2 Posted: 6/29/2011 18:43:20

First, it's not a good idea to start a project thinking you're going to change a basic part of the design, e.g. going to metal ribs. Stick right to the plans. There's  reason Curtis did everything and even though you see a lot of modified Pitts by people who think they know more than Curtis did, I have yet to meet the guy who is smarter than Curtis Pitts. And those who are closest will be the first to admit that Curtis knew what he was doing.

Second, contact me at buddairbum@cox.net and I'll send you an Xcell spread sheet I developed for evaluating projects and will let you play with dollar numbers and have it roll out totals automatically. 

Incidentally, paint is where you can add an astonishing amount of both both costs and weight. Know that before going in so you aren't surprised later. 

And btw, it is cheaper and more controllable to drop $50K on an S-1T than building, but an S-1-11B is a lot more airplane. The question is, how long will it take you to become a better pilot than an S-1T, or better yet (and cheaper) better than a 750 pound 180 hp S-1S? There are only a few pilots who are enough better than a light S-1S to actually need more airplane. Some will "want" more airplane but the costs of satisfying a "want" versus a "need" in airplanes can be astronomical.. 

Budd Davisson

Pitts S-2A, N8PB