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Another obit of a name in aviation.
June 12, 2005
MIAMI -- Curtis Pitts, who created the popular aerobatic biplane known as the Pitts Special, died Friday of complications from a heart valve replacement, his daughter said. He was 89.
In 1943, Mr. Pitts, of suburban Homestead, built the first Pitts Special. It was 'revolutionary because of its small size, light weight, short wingspan, and extreme agility,' the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum in Washington says on its Web site.
Each part of the plane can be broken down and shipped in pieces as a kit, reassembled at home by the owner.
Aerobatic pilot Betty Skelton won several championships in the late 1940s and into the ''50s with her plane, the Little Stinker, bringing attention to the design.
But the Pitts Specials really took off in the 1960s when people who were impressed by Skelton's flying persuaded Mr. Pitts to create and sell construction drawings, the museum said.
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