Model 12 – the same but dif­fer­ent

Pilot - - PITTS MODEL 12 -

The con­struc­tion of the Model 12 is pure Pitts. If you have any knowl­edge of the Pitts de­sign you would recog­nise the Model 12 as a larger, evo­lu­tion­ary de­vel­op­ment of ear­lier ver­sions. The wings are fab­ric-cov­ered, with spruce ribs and spars, a ply-cov­ered lead­ing edge and com­pos­ite wingtips. Frise ailerons sim­i­lar to the later Pitts S-2C are a fab­ric-cov­ered aluminium struc­ture – though mounted on three (not two) hinges. The fuse­lage is pure Pitts: a space frame of longerons and cross mem­bers made from 4130 chrome molyb­de­num al­loy steel – a thin walled tube of high strength to weight ra­tio. There’s one di­ver­sion from the usual Pitts de­sign of a pyra­mid of tubes con­nect­ing with the top wing spars: four ca­bane struts with stain­less steel brac­ing wires con­nect the cen­tre sec­tion of the top wing with the fuse­lage – sim­i­lar to the Pitts Sam­son – and house a cen­tre sec­tion fuel tank.

Of course the ra­dial en­gine is what dis­tin­guishes the Model 12 from most Pitts Spe­cials fit­ted with a flat four- or six-cylin­der Ly­coming ‘boxer’ en­gine. With its two wings and a round en­gine, the Model 12 de­sign harks back to an ear­lier time. Whilst the Pitts Spe­cial was born out of a need for a low cost aer­o­batic air­craft, Curtis Pitts built his first ra­di­alengined Pitts for air­show pi­lot Jess Bris­tow in 1947. The Pitts Sam­son had a Pratt and Wit­ney Wasp 450hp ra­dial en­gine. The added power from the larger en­gine, a larger air­frame, and of course the noise of a ra­dial en­gine made it an ex­tra­or­di­nary air­show per­former.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.