EAA’s Attic — Pitcairn Autogiro Blade

This piece originally ran in the December 2020 issue of EAA Sport Aviation magazine.

Legendary aircraft designer Harold Pitcairn formed the Pitcairn-Cierva Autogiro Co. in 1929 to build aircraft in partnership with rotorcraft pioneer Juan de la Cierva. The company’s various incarnations produced increasingly refined Autogiro designs through the early 1940s, though only a handful survive today. The EAA Aviation Museum is home to two: a PA-39 built for the Royal Navy and a PCA-2, Miss Champion. This cutaway rotor blade, on display in our Pitcairn hangar, shows the steel tube and wood rib construction that would look familiar to most homebuilders and restorers. It’s a clear reminder that those early Autogiros were true rotary wing aircraft.

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