Aerobatic Champions

October 4, 2001 – April 17, 2003

National Air and Space Museum
Independence Avenue and 6th Street, SW
Washington, DC

Special Exhibitions, Gallery 104, 1st Floor, West Wing Floor Plan

On view are 2 planes flown in world championship aerobatic competition:

  • Betty Skelton's Pitts S-1C Little Stinker; in which she won the 1949 and 1950 Feminine International Aerobatic Championship at the Miami All American Air Maneuvers. Skelton was the first woman to perform the inverted ribbon cut maneuver (flying upside down) and the first woman inducted into the International Aerobatic Club Hall of Fame. Hand-built by designer Curtis Pitts, it is now the oldest Pitts aircraft in existence.
  • Leo Loudenslager's Laser 200, in which he won 7 U.S. National Championships (the first in 1975) and the 1980 World Aerobatic title. The plane could fly more than 230 miles an hour and endure gravity forces up to 9Gs, allowing him to make sharper and more difficult maneuvers with seemingly endless rolls.