One More Thing
Art Scholl’s Chipmunk
Threetime U.S. Aerobatic Team member, air racer, and movie stunt pilot Art Scholl purchased this de Havilland (Canada) DHC-1A Chipmunk, his second, in 1968. Scholl’s modifications to the long-serving British trainer made it an almost entirely new airplane: the Pennzoil Special.
The Lycoming GO-435 sixcylinder engine Scholl installed nearly doubled the horsepower of the production Chipmunk’s 145 hp inline de Havilland Gipsy Major 8. Scholl covered the second cockpit to make his Chipmunk a single-seater (though his dog, Aileron, sometimes accompanied him in the cockpit at airshows).
Scholl expanded the vertical fin and rudder by 25 percent to handle the uptick in engine torque, and for more precise control during slow aerobatic maneuvers.
To make his Chipmunk more nimble, Scholl shortened its wings, lengthened the ailerons, and removed the flaps, improving roll performance.
Scholl, who entertained airshow audiences for 20 years, died in 1985 while filming a stunt for the movie Top Gun. His estate donated the Pennzoil Special to the National Air and Space Museum in 1987.