THE AEROPLANE

Pitts Model 12

The Pitts Model 12 is arguably the best biplane ever designed by the master himself, Curtis Pitts, designer, builder & pilot of the Pitts Special aircraft. He is considered to be one of the greatest aircraft designers, particularly in the world of aerobatic aircraft. The last aircraft he designed was the Pitts Model 12 which was specifically designed around the Russian Vedeneyev M14P 360 HP radial engine. As a result of the airframe design and radial engine combination, the Model 12 has a superb power to weight ratio which gives it extraordinary handling performance. In 2019 the engine was upgraded to the M14PF 400hp offering an even better power to weight ratio. Read more about the history of the Pitts Model 12 below.


G-PMIZ started its life in 2010 by Robert Warner & James Miller two aviation enthusiasts, then in 2015 I took over the project and with the expertise of Onesky Aviation at Wickenby Airfield, the build was finished by late 2016. Test flying began early in 2017 by Alan Cassidy. The CAA certification was granted under the supervision of LAA inspector Gerald Cooper.

SPECIFICATIONS

The Pitts Model 12 is a high performance biplane.
With tandem seating, the Model 12 fills the need for aerobatic performance as well as a nostalgic love of biplanes.

DESCRIPTION

Plans Built
2 Seat Tandem Biplane
Fully Aerobatic
Tube, Wood, Fabric Construction
Powered by a M14PF Engine


DIMENSIONS

Span: 23ft
Length: 20ft 6in  
Empty Weight: 703kg

Gross Weight: 1156kg
Wing Loading: 14lb/sq.ft

Fuel: 54 gallons

PERFORMANCE

Cruise Speed: 170 mph
Rate of Climb: 2900 ft/min
Stall Speed: 64 mph
Roll Rate: 240 deg/sec
Range: 500 mile
G Limit: +6, -4.5 (+9, -7.5 ult)


HISTORY OF THE PLANE

Here is a historical timeline of the Pitts Model 12, information provided by Jim Kimball Enterprises who provided parts and built the Model 12, this is now done by 92ndwestaviation.

1945 - 22 August

Curtis completes and flies the first Pitts "Special" which he had planned to call "Jeep" until he heard of the Art Chester Racer with that name.
20 minute flight. Log comment "What a Day!"

1960's and 1970's

Curtis designs and develops a series of single and two seat aerobatic biplanes eventually certifying versions of both.

1970 - 1989

After seeing the new control system designs on aircraft such as the SU-26, Curtis starts to collect ideas for a possible new design utilizing some of this technology. Several people witness Curtis as he measures an SU-26 aileron during a world contest.

1991

Curtis and a group of friends form a new company, Aero Design Eleven. He designs the Model 11-260, a single seat Lycoming powered aerobatic biplane, incorporating all that he has learned to date, including his 'Aerodynamically Boosted Ailerons'. Construction of the Model 11 begins

1992

In August of this year, Hurricane Andrew practically clears off all signs of civilization in South Florida including Homestead, the home of Curtis Pitts and Pitts Aviation Enterprises. Recovery take years.

1993

In January of this year, Curtis completes the first 3 view drawing of a new design, the Model 12. The prototype Model 11 is completed by Curtis, Pat Ledford, Don Lovern, Bill Lancaster and Will Teft. This new plane is dubbed 'Super Stinker' in the tradition of many of the prototype designs Curtis created through the years.

1995

In December of this year, the Pitts Model 12 is presented to a large group of Curtis' friends during his 80th Birthday party.  At that time, the airplane had a nickname of "Bolshoi" in keeping with the Russian engine.

1996

The now complete Pitts Model 12 is test flown in March and earns the nickname "Macho Stinker" and 'Pitts Monster'. The name "Bolshoi" is no longer used. Professional pilot and airshow performer Ben Morphew performs all acro test flights in the model 12.

1998

The airplane attracts a huge amount of attention and it is clear the airplane will be popular. N80XP, the prototype Model 12 is sold to a buyer in Washington State. Development and sales of model 12 kit parts begins.

1999

N69BM Serial #003 flies in February after being built by Ben Morphew.
N360KJ Serial #002 flies after completion by the Kimballs.


2000 to present...

Customers continue to build and complete Pitts Model 12 aircraft all over the world.


If you would like to know more about the Pitts Model 12's origin and story, I would strongly encourage you to read Budd Davison's 1999 article 'The Pitts Model 12 Comes of Age'. 

CLICK HERE TO READ