Stits SA-2A: The Sky Baby

Stits SA-2A: The Sky Baby

Ray Stits created the Sky Baby, which he built with Bob Starr as a follow-up to the Stits Junior midget racer. The plane is a single-engine enclosed negative staggered cantilevered biplane with conventional landing gear. Bob Starr flew the aircraft for the first time on May 26, 1952, in Palm Springs, California. The tricycle landing gear of the short coupled aircraft was abandoned in favor of the lighter tailwheel layout.

The aircraft required a 170 lb (77 kg) pilot to stay within the plane’s center of gravity and was only flown by pilots Starr and Lester Cole who met the requirements. The landing process employs 125 mph (201 km/h) entry patterns, with final approach speeds of 80 mph (129 km/h) and touchdown speeds of 55 mph (89 km/h). The plane flew publicity missions to promote an airshow act. After 25 hours of flight experience, it was retired in October 1952.

The fuselage is made of welded steel tubing covered in airplane fabric. Flaps are used on the upper wings, whereas ailerons are used on the lower wings. The Skybaby is configured with the pilot sitting with the engine near to the lap and rudder pedals situated under the oil sump toward the front of the cowling, whereas most aircraft employ a flat firewall between the engine and the pilot’s feet. The engine was derived from an ERCO Ercoupe and was upgraded with water injection to produce 112 horsepower (84 kW).

The plane was subsequently given to the National Air and Space Museum to be displayed. Ray Stits was a mechanic and a fighter pilot during WWII, but he claimed he was not an engineer. He went on to create a number of home-built designs, including the Stits SA-3A Playboy, which served as the foundation for the VanGrunsven RV-1 and hundreds of Van’s Aircraft.

Leila Ismail
The “image” designed by the brain’s mechanisms when reading is truly vivid and empowering. So writing for that vision is truly an enormous representation of art. Aviation is truly a limitless wave of adventure and exploration and you will find the right “image” in my writing.
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