Glad to see you are deeply in RC. I used to compete in RC as well about 10-15 years ago. I won the Canadian NATS in 1987 and I gave-up while competing for the world trials. In fact, Pattern flying was my daily (often more) dose of sanity. I have flown with Ivan Kristensen and Dave Patrick at that time. I had a contact with Ivan a year ago, but I have pretty much lost all contacts with the hobby. I devote all my airplane time to the 12 inches to the foot scale nowadays. d8^)
I still have a Summit (YS 61 powered retract including carbon spars and all the modern stuff of that era) hanging in my basement and maybe someday I'll replace the battery packs and try it again...
Interestingly enough, I've known of the Ultimate as an RC model long before I've seen a real one. My Ultimate is in a restoration process as the one I own was one of the very first (Serial 002) that went out as a 10-200 model and got improperly stored for about 10 years. She is getting to look good, now.
I guess that there are some traces of the Ultimate history in older magazines such as Sport Aerobatics.
My main thing on the Ultimate is the fact that many bugs commonly found on Pitts were fixed by the nature of the design of an exceptional value (not in any way diminishing the Pitts design, one of the greatest in aviation history).
I guess that Gordon Price had many Pitts and understood some of the improvements that could be added to the famous design. Unfortunately he was a bit too late to the market and since timing is everything, the rest is history.
The Ultimate started as a replacement wing for the Pitts. The Ultimate wing ended-up providing two extra G in each direction as well as a much faster roll rate. Then, GP decided to build a fuselage around it to lessen the football appearance of the Pitts which were costing points in lack of proper judgment at aerobatics contests.
Also, the idea of an entry level aircraft popped in his mind and designed the 10-100 essentially to be powered by a common Continental O-200 (as found in cessnas 150). Provisions were made to evolve to a Lycoming O-360 by simply replacing the motor mount and modifying the cowling. That model was referred to as the 10-180 and then came the 10-200 which supported a Lycoming IO-360 (200-225hp).
About 30 sets of plans were sold of the latter.
Then came the 10-300 and the 20-300 which were respectively 1 and 2 seaters of the 300 hp family.
There are a few Ultimates in the building process and a few in Europe as well. There is a French fellow that went to the extent of contracting-out a complete design review on the design only to find-out that the design is immaculate and meets the higher stress figures with lots of room to spare.
The factory is closed and a fellow is supplying parts but nothing else. There are a few species in your area. One in Brampton, Ontario, and another one close to Toronto. The latter owner name is Trevor ???, I may have his phone number somewhere if you want to push that far.
Paul Goyette has a lot of print material on the Ultimate. He's also building one (we nag each other about who is gonna fly first!)
I am enclosing other Ultimate pictures you may not have as well as the Lancair I am currently flying.
Hope this helps.
Update from Francois--November 21, 2001:
My Ultimate is in a pre-rigging stage with numerous little things to do (alas this is what takes the most time). No ETA to date on this project.
Update from Francois--February 9, 2003
Yes, I am still building the Ultimate. Although I have slowed down due to various reasons, I still intend to get back into it soon.
The Ultimate and the Pitts s-1-s are the same to build, essentially. I did not start with Devin's plans, but collected a few sets from different sources and "averaged" some details. I use a pitts plan for reference when things are not so clear (and yes, there are things that changed through the years).
Yes, you'll find part list within the plans. Materials are often hard to find (specially good quality wood). I have a source for wood here in Canada but above and beyond you need good quality materials.
Overall, the Ultimate resolves some problems that are common in the Pitts. Actually, some Ultimate features became AD's on the Pitts. Gordon Price (the designer) had several pitts and incorporated subtle and needed changes in the Ultimate. Wing attachments are more conservative and the wing is better in all respects (mechanically speaking).
What you should understand is that this is not a simple project, as any plans-built project. I also built a Lancair and this was much easier because it was sold as a "kit". Be prepare to look-up for parts, have a friend working at a machine shop and hone your welding skills.
The Ultimate airframe (and the Pitts) can be divided into 3 main sub-projects: the wings, the fuselage (and empennage), and the ailerons. Each require different skills being wood, steel tubing and aluminium, repectively. On the latter part, there are 4 of them, full span, and they swing 25 degrees up and down, so that is the purpose of the Ultimate (lotta roll). Besides the wings and fuselage are stressed a good 2G beyond the pitts.
I promised some pictures to Martin of my project and I shall oblige soon!
... I hope this gives you some inspiration and as well some insight about the complexity of the project. If you choose to go this road, the Ultimate is certainly worthwhile as the rarity of this plane makes it unique in its own right.
Return to index.