Air & Space Airshow Spotter's Guide
You know how to tell a Viper from a Hornet, but does your airshow-newbie friend? Here are recognition tips, bite-size histories, specs and info links for the airplanes most likely to appear at airshows this year.
- By airspacemag.com
- AirSpaceMag.com, April 01, 2012
Illustrations by Harry Whitver
How to recognize: High-wing, two-seat, light monoplane.
Claim to fame at air shows: Kent Pietsch’s joyful, power-off aerobatic routine in a sunny yellow Jelly Belly-sponsored Cadet. The routine ends with the pilot landing on a ramp fixed to the top of a speeding RV camper.
Claim to fame in service: The Pietsch sons continue the air show legacy begun by their father Al in 1968.
Mission: A family-oriented comedy routine as well as an aerobatic display at air shows.
Performance and specifications: The original S1 prototype was powered by a 50 hp Continental engine, but soon upgraded to a 65 hp model. Around 320 Interstate Cadets were built between 1941 an ’42, using a welded steel tube fuselage, a spruce wood wing with metal ribs, and a fabric covering. Cruise speed of 98 mph, range of 380 miles, maximum takeoff weight of 1,250 pounds.
Main variants: The Interstate Cadet S-1 was flown in World War II and called the L-8A, and in the 1970s a variant of the model S-1B2 was certificated for bush flying and called the Arctic Tern.
At air shows, while Kent flies the Cadet, Warren Pietsch flies classic and gyroscopic aerobatics in a 1946 Taylorcraft with custom-clipped wings. Warren also performs in his homebuilt machine that he calls the Schnortzenzummer.