Friday, August 11, 2006

Pitts Model 12

On Wednesday, I had the priviledge of going to the Pitts Model 12 factory in Florida. It's located at a private grass strip owned by the Kimball family. Here, the Kimballs make one of the most beautiful, powerful, and amazing airplanes ever conceived... the Model 12. It's a design by Curtis Pitts himself. The Kimbals have the exclusive right to build this awesome airplane.

You can check the Model 12 out here:

Jim Kimball is the president of the company and his son Kevin is Vice President. Kevin took the time to show us around and we really got to see their operation in full swing. They usually average 3 to 4 airplanes finished per year. Keep in mind that this is a family business with only 11 employees.

Another cool thing was getting to see the new Pitts Viper that they are building for Jim LeRoy of Bulldog Aerobatics. The Viper will be a one of a kind airplane designed specifically for Jim as his new main airplane. So far, the Kimballs have finished most of the frame, wings, and tail surfaces. The next step will be covering the frame and airfoils. The plane should be finished by the end of the year.

Larry King of Airshow Unlimited came along on our flight to tell us all about the Model 12. Larry has flown 13 of the 32 Model 12's that have been built by the Kimballs. He's also flown 6 of them on their first test flights! If you have been to EAA Airventure, Oshkosh, and stopped by the IAC building, chances are you've met him. He'll be happy to talk to you about the Model 12 at the airshow.

I really feel priviledged to have been to the factory and can only dream of flying a Pitts Model 12 and drool over them in the meantime! I'll say this though, the Kimballs make a really incredible airplane.

Jim Kimball Enterprises
Airshow Unlimited


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