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Project Log
Aircraft Construction - Pitts 14 Prototype

Construction Begins
Pitts 14 Prototype
Created: 12/10/2003
Updated: 04/07/2004
Link(s): N/A
Article by Mike Whaley
Construction begins on the Pitts 14 prototype in early May 2003. Curtis came to the shop for a week as his Model 14 drawings became structure for the first time. Jigs were completed for the fuselage side sub-assemblies and tail surfaces. Tubing nibbler pattern templates were completed for all tubes in the fuselage. The fuselage sides were tack welded together. The Model 14 prototype was under way....

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Curtis smiles for the camera as we begin the initial prototype construction of the Pitts Model 14. Curtis has been designing best-of-breed aerobatic biplanes for more than 60 years.  
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The fuselage side frame subassemblies are laid out on a jig built on a flat baseboard, similar to many other tube-built aircraft. Hardwood blocks are cut in quantity and pre-drilled in advance for the screws which will anchor them to the baseboard. The blocks locate each tube in the side structure and allow the frame subassembly to be tack welded.  
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There are lots of little details at this early stage. Paul Goetsch lays the foundation of the Model 14 fuselage. The starboard and port sides are identical and use the same jig.  

Other entries in this series:
      » Construction Begins    May 2003
     Fuselage Basic Structure    June 2003
     Fuselage Basic Structure Completed, Engine Arrives, Steve Culp Helps Out    July 2003
     Pitts Model 14 Introduced at Oshkosh    4th week of July 2003
     Curtis Visits to Continue the Design, Wing Construction Begins    August 2003
     Wing Construction Underway    September 2003
     Lower Wing Basic Construction    October 2003
     Lower Wing Details and First Fuselage Formers    November 2003
     Fuselage Formers, Skin and Wing Details    December 2003
     Fuselage Side Panels and Upper Wing Construction    January 2004
     Wing-Root Fairings, Fuselage Skin Panels, and Upper Wing    February 2004
     Fuselage Side Panels, Wing Rigging, Engine Arrives    March 2004
     Sun N 'Fun 2004    April 2004
     Summer 2004 Status Update    May 2004
     Aluminum Turtledeck    1st week of June 2004
     Sheet Metal Work, AirVenture    4th week of June 2004
     Adjustable Seats, Part 1    August 2004
     Adjustable Seats, Part 2    December 2004
     Wings    December 2004
     Throttle Quadrant    December 2004
     Spring 2005    March 2005

If you have any additions or corrections to this item, please let us know.

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