The Goodyear Eagles Aerobatics Team has been in the forefront of bringing aerobatics excitement to the public for the past 29 years. Over this period the team has had several major sponsors, but Goodyear Aviation became the official team sponsor at the beginning of the 2009 season and we are both proud and honoured to be associated with this great company that have been in the forefront of Aviation Tyre technology since the very beginning of manned flight.
Since inception the team has been a regular, sought after performer on the South African airshow circuit, as well as having the honour of being the first ever South African team to perform across our borders, being invited to perform in Kenya in Central Africa in 1993 and are privileged to have been invited back to Kenya on another nine occasions.
The team has also been a regular performer at air shows in Swaziland, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe and in 2008 were privileged to be invited to perform at the Al Ain International Aerobatic Show in the United Arab Emirate where we performed as "The Wizards" and our display included 2 Extra ES300's, becoming, we think, the first team to perform with not only two different types of aircraft, but also incorporating two skydivers into the aerobatic display.
The Goodyear Eagles are extremely proud and fortunate to have been invited back to the United Arab Emirates to perform once again at the 2010 Al Ain International Aerobatics Show and to proudly fly the South African flag at this prestigious International event.
During the late 1980s the team performed a first, in South African Aerobatic display history by performing an inverted parachute drop as part of the display. In the display the parachutist exits the aircraft midway through a loop and parachutes to the ground. This awe-inspiring act was performed at many airshows across the length and breadth of South Africa
Then in early 2000 the team executed the FIRST ever dual inverted parachute drop ever performed on the African Continent at the Virginia Airshow with two skydivers exiting two aircraft simultaneously whilst the aircraft are performing a loop. From the crowd response, we know that this was a winner!
Since then the team has performed this display on a vast number of occasions and the crowd response continues to uplift the team and with this in mind and our striving to continually improve.
We performed a world first, a triple inverted parachute drop, which was seen for the first time in public, and on CNN, at the 2010 Al Ain International Aerobatics Show, in the United Arab Emirates.
The Goodyear Eagles Aerobatic Team continually strive to enrich and improve our displays, not only to entertain but also to educate the airshow public of the full capabilities and manoverability of the wonderful aircraft we fly, namely the Pitts Special S2B and we strive to keep the skies full of thrills for the entire duration of our display.
The Pitts Special
The Team flies four Aviat-built Pitts Special S2B biplane aerobatic aircraft designed by Curtis Pitts, with 260 hp Lycoming AE540 engines. Only 196 of these magnificent aircraft were built and we are proud to be able to display these fine examples of aerobatic excellence. The Pitts Special dominated world aerobatic competitions in the 1960's and 1970's and even today remain a potent aerobatics aircraft.
" Crew: two (only one during aerobatic displays)
" Length: 18 ft 9 in (5.71 m)
" Wingspan: 20 ft 0 in (6.10 m)
" Height: 6 ft 7? in (2.02 m)
" Wing area: 125 ft² (11.6 m²)
" Empty weight: 1,150 lb (521 kg)
" Max takeoff weight: 1,625 lb (737 kg)
" Powerplant: 1× Textron Lycoming AEIO-540-D4A5 flat-six air cooled piston engine, 260 hp (194 kW)