Platz 1/72 Pitts S-2A "Airock Aerobatic Team"
KIT #: AB 9
PRICE: 1500 yen MSRP
DECALS: Three options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Two kits in one box


Pitts Special is a light aerobatic biplane designed by Curtis Pitts. It has accumulated many competition wins since its first flight in 1944. The Pitts Special dominated world aerobatic competition in the 1960s and 1970s and, even today, remains a potent competition aircraft in the lower categories.

All single-seat (S-1) and two-seat (S-2) Pitts Specials are variations on the basic design from 1944.

The aircraft was popularized by Betty Skelton, Caro Bayley and other air show performers, which lead to the offering of plans around 1960.

Pitts produced limited numbers of aircraft during the 1940s and 1950s. It is widely accepted that the Pitts Special is the standard by which all other aerobatic aircraft are judged. After a number of home-built aircraft were produced from rough hand-drawn plans produced by Pitts, more professionally drawn plans went on sale in 1962. While many home-built aircraft were built in the 1960s, earning the Special a reputation as an excellent aerobatic aircraft, Pitts worked on the design of a two-seat aerobatic trainer version, the S-2, which first flew in 1967 and gained its type certificate in 1971. Factory-built aircraft produced by the Aerotek company at Afton, Wyoming were joined in production by the single-seat S-1S in 1973.

In 1972, the US National Aerobatic Team won the World Championships flying only Pitts Specials.

In 1977 Curtis Pitts sold his interests in the Pitts Special to Doyle Child. Child later sold the rights in 1981 to Frank Christenson, who continued production at the Afton plant under the guise of Christen Industries. The rights for home-built versions of the Pitts were sold in 1994 to Steen Aero Lab in 1994, with the Afton factory and production rights being transferred to Aviat.

Curtis Pitts died in 2005 at age 89. At the time of his death, he was working with Steen on the prototype of the new Pitts Model 14, a brand-new, two-seat biplane designed for unlimited aerobatics powered by the 400 horsepower Vedeneyev M14P radial engine. The rights to the Pitts name is currently owned by Aviat which also owns the similar model to the Pitts in the Christen Eagle.


Typical of every Platz kit I have seen, this one has two identical kits included. It is their first 1/72 kit I have seen and choosing a small aircraft like the Pitts S-2A is a good choice. I initially had a suspicion that this might be a reboxing of the LS kit, but as I've not a copy of that for comparison, it is difficult to say.

One thing that is for certain is that the molding of the kit is superlative. Aside from some flash on the clear parts and some light ejector pin marks on the underside of the wings, there are no flaws. It is also a very simple kit in terms of construction. The interior is a floor with seat on which one installs a control stick. An instrument panel makes up the interior. There is no sidewall detail.  The upper nose section that includes the small cabane struts is separate so one can build that area up before attaching the wing if one wishes. The one piece wings seem easy to install and the design of the landing gear looks to be quite sturdy. The wheels and spats are molded as a single piece. Two clear bits are given. One is a one-piece windscreen canopy part that is applicable to all options. The other clear bit is just the windscreen and appears to be not used

Instructions consist of a portion of one page to show construction, with the rest of the instructions showing painting and markings. There are three different decal options available though one can really only do two of them out of the markings provided. Two are of the red nose and flame job option from late 2007 and into the 2008 show series. These are differentiated by small differences in some of the markings. The modeler will need to paint the nose red for this one, but the rest of plane is white and the decals take care of the rest. The third is a white nose plane from early 2007. The rather extensive decal sheet is quite well printed and very colorful.


It is quite nice to see that this aircraft is available in this scale. The Pitts has always been a favorite for aerobatics and this set of two should build quickly into a pair of very colorful models.

October 2009

My thanks to for the review kit. Get yours at your favorite shop or have them start carrying them. They are well worth it.

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