The oldest surviving Pitts Special, Little Stinker was the second aircraft constructed by Curtis Pitts. Pitts introduced the S-1 in 1945, the first of a famous line that dominated aerobatic competition throughout the 1960s and 1970s because of their small size, light weight, short wingspan, and extreme agility. Subsequent models still fly in all aerobatic categories and are standard aircraft for advanced aerobatic training.
Betty Skelton bought this airplane in 1948, and with it she won the 1949 and '50 International Feminine Aerobatic Championships. Her impressive flying skill and public relations ability heightened awareness of both aerobatics and the Pitts design. Skelton sold Little Stinker in 1951, but she and her husband later reacquired it and donated it to the Smithsonian. A volunteer crew restored it from 1996 to 2001.
Gift of Betty Skelton Frankman
Country of Origin: United States of America
Wingspan: 4.9 m (16 ft 10 in)
Length: 4.4 m (14 ft 6 in)
Height: 1.7 m (5 ft 6 in)
Weight, empty: 257 kg (568 lb)
Weight, gross: 362 kg (800 lb)
Engine: Continental C85-8FJ 63 kW (85 hp)
Fuselage: steel tube, fabric cover
Aerobatic biplane with a Continental C85-8FJ, 85 hp single-engine.