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Skywriting does not reqire a specific type of plane, but for that kind of flying an aircraft with good aerobatic capability is prefered. Steve Oliver and Suzanne Asbury Oliver, a husband and wife skywriting duo, use a DeHavilland DHC-1 Chipmunk. The Chipmunk is a capable aerobat, but not a powerhouse along the lines of a Pitts or an Extra 300. It was designed as a basic trainer for the Royal Air Force, and is a rather stable platform. Steve and Suzanne's Chipmunk is extensively modified for airshow duty. Skywriting has also been done in other similar airplanes such as the Beech T-34. Skywriting is also moving into the digital age. The Skytypers team uses several different aircraft in formation (all North American SNJ's, the Navy version of the T-6 trainer) and using onboard computers, a dot matrix of smoke puffs is emitted as they fly, leaving very clear text behind. Other airplanes used are the Boeing Stearman bi-plane the Grumman Ag-Cat, a converted agricultural bi-plane. Perhaps for their aerobatic ability and natural stability, piston engine military trainers seem to see a fair share of skywriting, though others are so employed as well.

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Q: What kind of plane is used for skywriting?
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