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Pitcairn Aircraft Company
/ Pitcairn Autogyro
The Pitcairn PCA-2 was an autogyro developed in the United States in the early 1930s.
It was Harold F. Pitcairn’s first autogyro designed to sell in quantity.
It had a conventional design for its day, an airplane-like fuselage with two open cockpits in tandem, and an engine mounted tractor-fashion in the nose.
The lift by the four-blade main rotor was augmented by stubby, low-set monoplane wings that also carried the control surfaces.
The wingtips featured considerable dihedral that acted as winglets for added stability.
In 1931, Pitcairn had produced a lightweight autogyro suitable for the private pilots as the PAA-1.
Experience with this and with other light, low-powered machines convinced Pitcairn that while the concept was good, they presented significant handling problems to inexperienced pilots.
The PA-18 was designed as a machine for the same market, but with a more powerful engine and structural strengthening.
The availability of more power contributed greatly to the aircraft’s responsiveness at low speeds.
Major production version
Version with Pratt & Whitney Wasp Junior engine and 48-ft (14.63-m) rotor (1 built)
Version with Wright R-975-E2 engine
Reconnaissance autogyro (1931)
Two aircraft acquired by the United States Navy (USN) in 1931 for trials with limited success.
Company designation of the YG-2 for the US Army
Company designation of the OP-2 for the US Navy
US Army trials autogyro (PA-33), 1 built.
US Navy trials autogyro (PA-34), one built.
23 ft 1 in (7.04 m)
30 ft 0 in (9.14 m)
NACA M-3 mod
2,233 lb (1,013 kg)
3,000 lb (1,361 kg)
1 × Wright R-975 (J6-9)
9-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine,
330 hp (250 kW)
Main rotor diameter
45 ft 0 in (13.72 m)
Main rotor area
1,580 sq ft (147 m2) 4-bladed wire braced rotor
2-bladed fixed pitch wooden propeller
120 mph (190 km/h, 100 kn)
290 mi (470 km, 250 nmi)
15,010 ft (4,575 m)
Maximum glide ratio
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