Flying the Pitts Special...things I can't do

I recently changed aircraft from the Flight Designs to the Pitts Special and have three problems:

  1. On other aircraft the throttle controls engine rpm. I can have the throttle set a some lower value and then, maybe because of some slight change in the AOA, it will rev up to red line. I find it very difficult to maintain the airspeed I want.

  2. The binding for flaps I use works on the other prop aircraft I’ve flown. Nothing on the Pitts.

  3. Is the tail wheel physically linked to the rudder and therefore I have to have rudder pedals to control it on the ground? Is there some alternative other than the keyboard since I fly in VR and there’s no way I’m going to be able to find the right keys with my HMD on?

Thanks in advance for any assistance. Flying the Pitts in an absolute blast but not being able to land it sucks.

  1. This applies only to fixed pitch propellers.
    The Pitts has a constant speed prop.
    Engine performance is set with the correct combination of MP (manifold pressure) and prop RPM.

  2. The are no flaps on the Pitts.

  3. Without pedals or a twistgrip joystick you will need an assistance.
    Haven’t tried any, but AFAIK takeoff assist might help.
    That said, when landing with zero wind, I don’t need any rudder input to keep her straight.

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Pitts has no flaps as far as i know. Its aerobatic plane its difficult to land yes and requires some pracitse. You must make sure that your speed is minimum when approaching, just few knots over stall speed.
Make longer approach first, decend with about -500 ft/min, trim neutral while decending and regulate speed with throttle carefully to maintain speed. Make sure not to become too fast or too slow.

Trim should always be set to be able to fly your aircraft hands off, which very seldom equals neutral.

Ah, thats what i mean with “trim neutral”. Neutral in terms that you have your stick in neutral position. I didn’t mean TO trim position.

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I can’t cook homemade French fries while flying the Pitts Special without hitting the pause button

I don’t have much trouble flying and landing the Pitts. It’s the takeoff that’s hair-raising. That thing wants to veer to the left abruptly no matter how slowly I apply the throttle. One second everything is under control and out of nowhere it dodges to the left violently. The only solution during takeoff is to move your stick to the right, and of course lots of rudder input, the get the thing off the ground safely.

Takeoff is presently not realistic due to the broke friction simulation.

With the Pitts you can avoid this problem by keeping the stick slight pulled back during the takeoff run so that the tailwheel stays on the ground.
As long as this is the case, the sudden violent left turning tendency will not occur.

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Okay. So it’s how the friction is simulated so in cases where all the wheels aren’t on the ground there’s a problem? I wasn’t aware of that but I’ll give it a try. Thanks for the info.

I guess it’s the same with the xcub then? Well it must be the same on all planes but on these tail-dragger planes I like to let the tail wheel rise off the ground so the plane is level for awhile before I lift-off. I guess it’s more noticeable on the Pitts because of the power difference.

Most likely it’s the same on the other taildraggers.

The nice thing is, once you know that, it’s very easy to control and hence predict when you need to apply right rudder :slight_smile:

I still don’t understand this, even after an hour of flying. So the Pitts hadsa variable pitch propeller. Is the pitch controllable by me? If not, what does control it? Same question with regard to the MP and RPM. I can fly at low speed and low rpm ok, and at max speed/rpm for acrobatics but I can’t find a fuel efficient cruise speed that remains constant.

Funny. Mine’s the opposite: it vears to the right but I apply max power right off and am in the air before it can get off the side of the runway.

You control the prop RPM with the prop lever.
Left side of the cockpit, just below the instrument panel. (Prop push high RPM)

MP with the throttle.

If your Pitts veers to the right, it’s most likely crosswind from the right.

Thank you for this information! I found the prop lever, added it to my flight yoke, and now have much better control of engine power. It’s not clear to me which (prop vs MP) to change when (or why) but I’ll probably figure that out over time. Much more controlled landing speed but once on the ground, nothing I do (brakes or aielerons) matters.

For takeoff and landing you always want to set the prop to high/max RPM.
(Like the first gear in a car)

For aerobatics you could use e.g. 21" and 2300RPM and cruise around 19-20 and 2200 just as a very coarse guide.

The only important flight control after touchdown is the rudder.
Except in a strong crosswind the ailerons should always remain neutral.

Thank you again. It is so advantageous to have guidance from someone who knows what you’re trying to learn. Probably gonna hold off on the rudder pedals until I get a motion stimulator. ;>)

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You are welcome :slight_smile:
How are you controlling the rudder?

It seems that the new Husky is much easier to control on the ground, even when the tail wheel is in the air, even in a cross wind. I get frustrated with the Pitts and so I tend not to fly it. It’s a shame.

The Pitts is a high performance aerobatic aircraft.
You can’t compare its handling with a rugged easy to fly GA aircraft.
Nevertheless the Pitts needs fixing in the takeoff case.
Landing is easy.

Ok, fair enough, but the Husky also seems easier to control than the other default tail draggers. Perhaps your same theory applies.