The Advantage


This Muscle Biplane was built and is flown by:

Richard Blatter


Fuselage was copied from Kermit Weeks Solution.  Appearance differs as I chose to do what possible to straighten the banana belly of Pitts and I used the Gordon Price Ultimate cowling. 
Advantage  weighs in empty at 1150 pounds.  This weight is with full electrical and radios which are comm. loran and transponder.  Obviously, this weight could be
trimmed a substantial amount by elimination of all electrical components.
Engine began life as 300 HP IO540-K1E5 but has been modified with
Barrett cold air induction, ported & polished, 10/1 pistons, Barrett
recommended camshaft, B&C starter & alternator and Frame Up Engineering
exhaust system.  The engine currently has five hours since overhaul by
G&N.  I have not put this engine on a dyno.  However, my friend Dan
McGarry has made exactly the same modifications and his engine produces
368 HP on dyno.
Propeller is Hartzell composite with only one hour since installation.
To explain low propeller time, I was one of the original purchasers of
Hartzell composite prop.  Those of us who purchased the early composite
were promised replacement as Hartzell came to final design.  This is the
replacement propeller.  All new including governor and spinner.
Wingspan is 17' 10" with 38' chord.  Both top and bottom wings have 7
degree sweep back.  The wings feature wood leading edges and ailerons
which are hinged at 30% of chord.  This gives remarkable (very superior
to conventional Pitts ailerons) roll rate with very light control
pressures.  Believe it or not, I was hinging Pitts ailerons at 30%
several years before introduction of Super Stinker.  The aileron
interconnect tube is inside the I-strut and is push - pull, not a torque
tube.  The ailerons are very effective and have no adverse tendencies
other than the thing rolls so fast, it takes a lot of practice stop on a
Canopy slides like any single place Pitts but is also jetsonable.

The last year I actively flew competition was 1993.  I elected to quit
competition flying at the end of 1993 for a variety of reasons.  During
1993, I flew seven contests winning five of them which includes Advanced
at Fond du Lac.  This was when Fond du Lac Advanced was still a 18 to 25
pilot contest and not the more recent 6 or 8 pilot contest. 

Advantage performs very well and can hold its own in any category.  This a bi-wing
that can beat the monowings and give the additional safety a bi-wing offers.  How many times of you hear of a bi-wing snapping wings off?  How many times have you heard of monowings snapping wings off?

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