Articles on planes, pilots and events that shaped the history of the world aerobatics. ( Picture: World Cup Aerobatic Contest Paris)
Just like we can't talk about the Pitts Special without talking about Curtis Pitts, we can't talk about the Laser 200 without mentioning Leo Loudenslager. These planes signify a turning point in the history of aerobatics; they are the fruit of work, a shared passion, and a philosophy demonstrated by the sacrifice of these people's lives.
Leo Loudenslager is considered responsible for ending the reign that the biplane created by Curtis Pitts, the Pitts Special, had established in aerobatic competition circuits throughout the world. Although the Pitts continued to defeat the Czech Zlins at the beginning of the 1970s in Europe, in the U.S. the domination of Leo's advanced single-seater over the biplanes had already been predicted.
Curtis Pitts died at the age of 89 on June 10, 2005 in Miami of complications during a heart operation.
Curtis is a legend in the international aerobatics world. That tiny biplane he designed in 1944 called "The Special," built without any intention of producing a series, with elegant form and design, along with some wonderful aerobatic performances, made the Pitts one of the aerobatic planes that caused the most interest and desire during his time.
Max Immelmann was one of the greatest German pilots of WWI. Son of factory owner Franz Immelmann and Gertrude Sidonie, he entered into the Dresden cadet corps at 25 years old, where he prepared for a successful military career, and later joined the railway regiment Eisenbahnregiment Berlin, earning a mechanical engineer degree in Dresden.
During the 1950s, when airshow activity was increasingly stagnant, Curtis decided to temporarily leave Pitts airplane construction and center his efforts on his business and on creating Pitts designs and blueprints.
Just like we can't talk about the Pitts Special without talking about Curtis Pitts, we can't talk about the Láser 200 without mentioning Leo Loudenslager. These planes signify a turning point in the history of aerobatics; they are the fruit of work, a shared passion, and a philosophy demonstrated by the sacrifice of these people's lives.
At the end of 1945, they wanted to build ten S1s for Car Stengel off the design of the original Pitts as part of an amateur construction kit, but only one was built due to Carl's company's financial problems. Phil Quigley flew this model in airshows - with its longer and more resistant fuselage, 85 hp Continental engine, and an improved upside-down fuel system - until aerobatics pilot Betty Skelton bought it in 1947. With the nickname "Little Stinker," it allowed her to dominate all the female national aerobatics competitions from 1947 to 1951.