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Looking like the bastard child of a helicopter and a prop plane, the PCA-2 autogiro was Pitcairn’s first rotary wing aircraft to achieve type certification (basically approved airworthiness) in America.

Looking like the bastard child of a helicopter and a prop plane, the autogiro was Pitcairn’s first rotary wing aircraft to achieve type certification (basically approved airworthiness) in America.

April 8, 1931: Amelia Earhart climbs to a record altitude of 18,415 feet in a Pitcairn autogyro at Willow Grove, near Philadelphia.

April Amelia Earhart climbs to a record altitude of feet in a Pitcairn autogyro at Willow Grove, near Philadelphia.

Pitcairn PA-36. I'd love one of these autogiros for my commute to work.

Pitcairn I'd love one of these autogiros for my commute to work.

Frank Tinsley's beautiful cover for the October 1935 issue of "Bill Barnes Air Trails" showing a pair of stylized Pitcairn AC-35s.

Frank Tinsley's beautiful cover for the October 1935 issue of "Bill Barnes Air Trails" showing a pair of stylized Pitcairn

Pitcairn PA-18, 1932 autogiro designed by Spanish engineer Juan de la Cierva - most nusual visitor of EAA AirVenture 2009.

Pitcairn 1932 autogiro designed by Spanish engineer Juan de la Cierva - most nusual visitor of EAA AirVenture

Pitcairn Cierva Autogiro Company OP-1. U.S.Marines

Pitcairn Cierva Autogiro Company U.

Dec 19 1930: The first autogyro pilot to carry a passenger was Amelia Earhart at Pitcairn Field, Willow Grove, Pa. She flew a PCA-2 Pitcairn Autogyro, making several trips with various passengers until dark. It was only on the previous day, 18 Dec 1930, that she made her first solo flight in the autogyro, also making her the first female to make a solo flight.

Dec 19 The first autogyro pilot to carry a passenger was Amelia Earhart at…

An “autogiro” lands golfing Sen. Hiram Bingham on the plaza in front of the U.S. Capitol, July 9, 1931. Photoprint by Underwood & Underwood. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

An “autogiro” lands golfing Sen. Hiram Bingham on the plaza in front of the U. Capitol, July Photoprint by Underwood & Underwood. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Pitcairn PCA-2 was built in the 1930s and was the first autogyro

Darpa X-plane to radically rethink vertical takeoff

Pitcairn was built in the and was the first autogyro

Juan de la Cierva in a Pitcairn autogyro

Juan de la Cierva in a Pitcairn autogyro

Pitcairn PCA-2

Pitcairn PCA-2

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