Pitts Special S1-S – G-BKDR originally built in 1982


The Pitts Special was originally designed by Curtis Pitts in 1943-1944. The design has been continuously refined and modified since the prototype’s first flight in 1945, however, still retains the character of Curtis’s original concept

Pitts biplanes dominated world aerobatic competition in the 1960s and 1970s and still remain potent competition aircraft and a firm favourite of airshow performers world-wide.

Designed and built for serious aerobatics, Lauren’s machine, G-BKDR, has over the years received a few modifications to increase its performance and strength beyond that original design – over-sized control surfaces (ailerons, rudder and elevator) mean that she rolls blisteringly fast, flick rolls even faster and performs almost any conceivable aerobatic manoeuvre with style and aplomb.

Beneath the cowlings lurk a Lycoming IO-360 engine and a full inverted fuel and oil system, meaning that 180hp reaches the lightweight wooden Hercules propeller in all attitudes – this Pitts can fly upside down almost indefinitely.

Her cleverly designed fuselage also generates enough lift with the aircraft positioned in the ‘knife-edge’ that she can also fly along quite happily sideways, showing off the stunning sunburst paint on her top wing to full effect.

Offering only one seat, this G-BKDR is a very lightweight and strong machine, giving performance that allows high impact sequences to be flown and easily controlled, with long climbing lines flown with ease and grace, and dynamic manoeuvres flowing rapidly from one to another.

Technical Specs:


  • Model: S1-S
  • Engine: Lycoming IO-360 : 180hp
  • Propeller: Hercules custom aerobatic prop
  • Wingspan: 17.4’
  • Gross weight: 1150lb
  • Empty weight: 830lb
  • Max speed (Vne): 203mph
  • Cruise speed: 160mph
  • Aerobatic limits: +6/-3G



  • Zero incidence fully symmetrical wings, top and bottom
  • Gordon Price oversize ailerons, top wing spades
  • Additional strengthening wires
  • Oversize rudder
  • Oversize elevator
  • Elevator servo tab