Pitcairn Pa


tips causes no torque, eliminating the need for an anti-torque rotor. Rocket drive is expensive to operate but no transmission is needed, so the system possibly could be built quite a bit cheaper. Planned flight experiments never came off. The autogiro was donated to Princeton University's For re stall Research Center. Princeton University never flew it. About 1959, it was sold to one of their mechanics who assembled it and John Miller, one of Kellett's former test pilots, flew it. Later it was used by Urnbaugh Aircraft when they were first promoting their gyroplane. Their test pilot was Fred "Slim" Soule who had flown all the PA-39s originally. Then it was bought by Ryan Aeronautical of San Diego. It was badly damaged in a landing accident there. It has since moved through several owners and the son of Harold Pitcairn, Stephen Pitcairn, owns it and is repairing it.

The remaining PA-39s were shipped to England, luckily on two separate vessels. One ship was sunk en route by the very submarines that the PA-39s were later to seek out.

The jump takeoff or self-catapulting feature was the same as the PA-36. The blades were set at zero lift angle and the rotor was run up to 285 rpm when the pitch angle was hydraulicallv changed to3V2 degrees. The rpm then bled off to about 170 rpm as the autogiro climbed. A jump to about 15 feet could be made on the right day.

Lateral and longitudinal control was effected by tilting the rotor axis in the direction that control was desired. A control column with a steering wheel at its top was moved forward and backward for longitudinal control and was rolled left or right for lateral control, A small rudder at the rear of the fuselage would shorten the turning radius. A turn could be made by banking the autogiro right or left with the control wheel.

The original design, which was not built, with a Kinner R-5 engine was shown with a 40-foot diameter constant tapered blade, while the Warner Super Scarab version that was built had a 42-foot diameter step-tapered rotor.


Gross weight Empty weight Top speed Minimum speed Landing speed

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