Dr. Julie Pfile-Smith Pitts Special S-1 “Khatali”
First Albuquerque Visit: 1983
The Pitts Special, Model S-1 or S-2, is a series of light aerobatic biplanes designed by Curtis Pitts. The aircraft has accumulated many competitive wins since the first flight in 1944. The Pitts biplanes dominated world aerobatic competition throughout the 1960s and 1970s and even today, remain a fierce competitor in some categories.
Curtis Pitts began the design of a single-seat aerobatic biplane from 1943 to1944. The aircraft has been redesigned continuously since the prototype first flew in September of 1944 however the current Pitts S-2 still remains quite close to the original conceptual design. All current single-seat S-1’s and two-seat S-2’s Specials are variations of the basic design created in1944. The Pitts Special became the standard by which all other aerobatic aircraft were judged.
Albuquerque resident, Dr. Julia Pfile Smith, one of the the United States best women stunt pilots flew this Pitts Special S-1, N30JP, aircraft at exhibitions and air shows all over New Mexico beginning in 1983. She was a member of the US Women’s acrobatic team that competed in world competition during the summer of 1984. Her team won second place in 1985.
Julie and her husband “Scoop” Smith purchased two North American SNJs and performed together. Scoop was killed in his SNJ on August 8, 2001 while he was practicing for an air show in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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