Skip Stewart is best known for his high-energy aerobatics routine, which includes very low and slow knife-edge passes. His performances most often involve transitioning into slow knife-edge flight immediately after take-off, followed by an outside-banked turn as he sets up for his routine. The performances themselves involve extreme positive and negative G-manoeuvres, utilizing the full performance and manoeuvring envelopes of his aircraft.
Stewart holds the distinction of being the first pilot to fly under a jumping motorcycle at an airshow. He also flies knife-edge while racing cars and trucks on the runway, including the Shockwave jet truck. Stewart was a member of the X-Team.
Skip is one of the most entertaining airshow pilots in the world today. His qualifications include ALTP (Airline Transport Pilot), certified flight instructor, and has over 8000 hours of flying experience.
He has numerous awards and was chief pilot for a fortune 100 company. To date he has spent more than ten years entertaining airshow fans around the world. Stewart flies in airshows in the United States and abroad, in his two highly modified Pitts Special muscle biplanes.
He was introduced to aviation by his grandfather, who worked as a crop-duster, and took Skip flying in a Piper PA-18 Super Cub and a Piper Twin Comanche. He went to his first airshow at around fourteen years of age, which is where he recalls his interest in aerobatics was born by watching the great Leo Loudenslager fly.
Stewart’s first airplane was a 1976 Pitts S-2A, which he sold in 2000 to buy a 1979 Pitts S-2S. He spent several off seasons modifying this aircraft into what would eventually become the original version of his trademark Prometheus muscle biplane. In 2011 he bought a second aircraft, another 1979 Pitts S-2S and used its airframe to build a second airshow aircraft, which he named Prometheus 2 (P2). The original Pitts is now referred to as P1.
The aircraft are highly customized in order to achieve superior aerobatic performance. Both aircraft have custom wings, tails, cowlings, engines, propellers, landing gear, instrument panels, fuel tanks and even custom seat belts. The only stock components on the two aircraft are the horizontal stabilizers. The engines produce 400 hp (compared to the 260 hp of the stock S-2S), and the aircraft are capable of +12 and -7 G, more than twice the G-limit of the stock variant.