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Upon entering the museum, Lone Star Flight Museum visitors are greeted by a bright red Pitts Special S-1 suspended high above the museum entrance. Designed by Curtis Pitts in 1944, the biplane was hung inverted with the nose up and at a slight bank to represent the biplane’s history of successful airshows and acrobatic competitions.

The Pitts Special became so popular that Curtiss Pitts began producing new variants to meet demand. The Pitts Special S-1C, a homebuilt aircraft kit, and the S-1S competition-dedicated model are two such examples. A two-seater variant, the S2-C, is currently being sold by Aviat Aircraft, which bought the rights to the Pitts Special in 1977.

The Pitts Special S-1 on display was owned by Terry Barker of Keller, Texas. Barker was a U.S. Army Huey and Cobra Pilot and flew for American Airlines for 36 years, retiring in 2020. He was a proud member of the Commemorative Air Force.

Terry and his father-in-law, John Abitz, built the aircraft over 21 years from 1984 to 2005. The plane was built at the airport created by Texas Aviation Hall of Fame inductee Edna Gardner Whyte in Roanoke, Texas.

The Pitts now joins the MQ-1B Predator and the Culver Dart hanging high above museum visitors. The Predator and Culver Dart are hung in the Waltrip Hangar.

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