REVISED: 12/24/08

Pitcairn, A G A, Pitcairn-Cierva, Pitcairn-Larsen

1924: (Harold F) Pitcairn Air Service (air field, flight school, FBO), Bryn Athyn PA. 1925: Pitcairn Air Lines (sold to Eastern Air Transport in 1929 as origin of Eastern Air Lines). 1925: Pitcairn Aircraft Inc, Pitcairn Air Field #2, Willow Grove PA. 1929: Autogyro operations as Pitcairn-(Juan de la) Cierva Autogiro Co. c.1930: Autogiro Co of America (aka AGA) as patent licensee (to Buhl, Kellett, Sikorsky, etc). Feb 1941: Pitcairn-(Agnew E) Larsen Autogiro Co Inc. Dec 1941: Renamed AGA Aviation Corp (pres: Virgil H Frazier). 1946: Acquired by G&A (Gliders & Aircraft) Div, Firestone Rubber Co. 1947: Firestone Aircraft Co.

AC-35 SEE Autogiro AC-35.

Pitcairn YG-2 (Hofstra Univ archives)

G-2 1935 = PA-33 with 165hp Wright R-975 for evaluation. POP: 1 as XG-2/YG-2.

OP - USN version of PA-34 with 45'0" rotor.

Pitcairn XOP-1 (USN)

XOP-1 1931 = Testing stability in carrier use. POP: 3 [A8850, A8976/8977], the first modified as wingless XOP-2, the last two flown by USMC.

XOP-2 1936 = POP: 1 modified from -1 [A8850].

Pitcairn PA-1 (Peter Bowers coll)
Pitcairn PA-1 Martinsyde cabin conversion (Fred LePage coll)

PA-1 Fleetwing 1925 = 4-5pOB; 160hp Curtiss C-6; span: 38'0" length: 25'11" load: 1110# v: 110/93/45. Three cockpits. Agnew Larsen. POP: ?? [173, 1172/1173, 1509, et al].

PA-2 Sesquiwing (aka Arrow) 1926 = 2pOswB; 160hp Curtiss C-6; span: 32'0" length: 22'6" load: 754# v: 145/120/60 range 360. Quick-change convertible to 90hp Curtiss OX-5 in 31 minutes; length: 22'10" load: 746 v: 120/x/60. POP: [1243] 1 for 1926 Nationals, but did not finish because of motor problems [NC10222].

Pitcairn PA-3

PA-3 Orowing 1927 (ATC 2-20) = 3pOB; 90hp Curtiss OX-5 or 100hp OXX-6; span: 36'0" length: 26'2" load: 755# v: 90/78/40. Used Curtiss Oriole wings. POP: about 40 [NC78, NC175/178, NC248, NC280, N283K, NC572V, NC977/978, NC983/984, NC991/995, C1177/1178, C1258, C1655, C1658, C1698, C1984, C2699, C2735, C2781/2783, C2855, C2916, C2936, C2993, C4291, C4300, C4355, C5032, NC6659, et al]

Pitcairn PA-4 [NC3216]

PA-4 Fleetwing 2 (aka Deluxe) 1927 (ATC 2-21) = 3pOB; 90hp Curtiss OX-5; span: 33'0" (?>30'0") length: 22'2" (?>21'10") load: 785# v: 102/87/45 range: 400. POP: 11 [C1514, X2359, C3216, C3228, C4920, NC7032, NC7443, NC7558, NC7756/7757]; prototype [NC3216] converted to PA-4W.

PA-4K, PA-4W Fleetwing 2 1928-30 (ATC 2-193, 2-230) = PA-4 approved for 100hp Kinner K-5 (2-230) and 110hp Warner Scarab (2-193). POP: 1 each -4K [NC10130] and -4W [NC3216] for conversions as engine test-beds.
Pitcairn PA-5 [2895] (K O Eckland coll)

PA-5 Mailwing, Sport Mailwing 1927 (ATC 18) = 1pOB; 220hp Wright J-5; span: 33'0" length: 21'11" load: 822# (?>1008#) v: 131/105/50 range: 435 ceiling: 18,000'. $9,850-10,000; POP: at least 21 [NC94, NC500, NC549K, C1515, C2895, C4321/4325, C5062, C5117, C5129, C5564, C5636, C5677, C5808, C5863, NC6617/6618, NC6708, et al]. Sport was 3p "civilianized" version of PA-5 mail plane.

PA-6, 6B Super Mailwing 1928 (ATC 92) = Similar to PA-5 but with a larger cargo hold. 1pOB; 220hp Wright J-5; span: 33'0" length: 23'4" load: 695# v: 128/109/52 range: 600 ceiling: 16,000'. POP: 51 [NC19/20, NC26, NC36E/38E, NC93W, NC127/129E, NC210H/214H, NC215E, NC298E, NC338E, NC353E/355E, NC377V, NC482E/483E, NC557E, NC585, NC643E/644E, NC680E/683E, NC800H/804H, NC875M, NC878M, C2896, NC7152, NC7557, NC7866/7868, NC7965/7966, NC10378, NC13912/13913, NC15307].

PA-6S Super Mailwing 1928 (ATC 2-22) = 3p sport version of PA-6> mail plane. (2-22) replaced by (92).
PA-7 Super Mailwing 1929 (ATC 196) = 3pOB; 225hp Wright J-6; span: 33'0" length: 23'9" load: 1129# v: 135/155/57 range: 520. POP: 2 [NR213M, NC684E].
Pitcairn PA-7M [NC876M] (Frank Tallman coll)

PA-7M Super Mailwing 1929 (ATC 196) = 1p PA-7 as mail plane. POP: 10 [NC94W, NC351V, NC378V, NC545K, NC825N/826N, NC876M/877M, NC7967].

Pitcairn PA-7S [N95W] (K O Eckland)

Pitcairn PA-7S [NC13158] (Frank Rezich coll)

PA-7S Super Sport Mailwing 1929 (ATC 196) = 3p sport version of PA-7. $8,500; POP: 16 PA-7S [NS53W, NC54W, NC68M/71M, NC95W/97W, NR213M prototype, NC824N, NC10375/10377, NC10379, NC13158]

Pitcairn PA-8
Pitcairn PA-8M (Joseph Juptner coll)

PA-8, -8M Super Mailwing 1930 (ATC 364) = 1pOB; 300hp Wright J-6; span: 35'0" length: 24'10" load: 1706# v: 145/122/60 range: 600 ceiling: 16,000'. $12,500; POP: at least 6 [prototype X10056, NC10750/10754].

PA-11 SEE Alfaro.

Pitcairn PA-18 [NC13189]

PA-18 1932 (ATC 478) = 2pOlwMAg; 160hp Kinner R-5; span: 21'3" length: 19'5" rotor: 40'0" load: 556# v: 95/83/0-20 range: 225 ceiling: 12,000'. $6,750 with flight instruction; POP: 51, of which 6 were converted to PA-39. The fatal crash of a Pitcairn autogyro in Oct 1935 ended one of aviation's longest safety records, when pilot Robert Swenson unwisely tried to stretch a glide over power lines after an engine failure.

Pitcairn PA-19 (Stephen Pitcairn coll)

PA-19 1933 (ATC 509) = 5pClwMAg; 420hp Wright R-975; span: 38'8" length: 25'9" rotor: 50'8" load: 770# v: 120/100/0-20 range: 350. R B C Noorduyn; ff: 9/x/32 (p: James G Ray). $14,950; POP: 4 [NC2503, NC2740, NC13149, X13182], of which the prototype [NC13149] was scrapped.

PA-20 1933 = 2pOlwMAg; 160hp Kinner R-5; span: 22'9" length: 19'0". Improved version of PAA-1.

PA-21 1933 = PCA-2 with 420hp Wright R-975-E2.

Pitcairn PA-22 [X13199] (Clark Scott coll)

PA-22 1932 = 2pCMAg; 84hp Pobjoy Cataract; span: 0' length: 18'0" rotor: 32'0" load: 540# v: 105/90/0-25 range: 350. Experimental wingless with a three-blade, foldable rotor system. Side-by-side cabin; width: 7'10". First roadable autogyro built by Pitcairn. POP: 1 [X13199]. SEE Autogiro AC-35.

Pitcairn PA-24

PA-24 1933 (ATC 507) = 2pOlwMAg; 160hp Kinner R-5; span: 22'9" length: 18'7" rotor: 40'0" load: 543# v: 100/87/0-25 range: 235. Modified twin-tail version of PA-20 and PAA-1 with a changes in powerplant and rotor system. POP: 2 [NC11631, NC11634], plus about 20 modifications of earlier models.

PA-33 1935 = 2pOAg; 420hp Wright R-975; rotor: 50'0" length: 22'8" v: 144. POP: 1 to AAC as YG-2.

PA-34 1937 = 2pOAg; 420hp Wright R-975; rotor: 50'0" length: 22'8". POP: 3 to USN as XOP-1.

Pitcairn PA-36 Whirl Wing [NX20674] (Stephen Pitcairn coll)

PA-36 Whirl Wing 1939 = 2pCAg; 165hp Warner Super Scarab; span: 0' length: 20'5" rotor: 43'0" load: 625# v: 122/102/0-15 range: 375; side-by-side cabin, width: 8'3". Agnew Larsen. POP: 1 [NX20674], plus another partially constructed; aka Pitcairn-Larsen PA-36 in 1941. All-metal, roadable version of Autogiro AC-35 for military trials, which proved unsuccessful with the advent of the helicopter and it was cut up for scrap during WW2. Fuselage was built by Luscombe Co.

  Pitcairn PA-38 Jo Kotula art (Stephen Pitcairn coll)

PA-38 - Not built.

Pitcairn PA-39 [N3908]

PA-39 1940 = 2pClwMAg. POP: 6 converted from PA-18 as convoy escorts for RNAS.

PA-44 1943 = 2pCAg; 300hp Jacobs R-915A pusher engine; rotor: 48'0" length: 28'6" v: 103/x/0-10. Gross wt: 3038#. POP: 2 built for AAC as XO-61 and YO-61, but not delivered.

  Pitcairn PAA-1 (Stephen Pitcairn coll)

PAA-1 1931 (ATC 433) = 2pOlwMAg; 125hp Kinner B-5; span: 22'9" length: 18'7" rotor: 37'0" load: 572# v: 90/75/0-20 range: 250 ceiling: 10.000'. $6,750; POP: 25.

PAA-2 1931 = 120hp Chevrolair (Martin 333); length: 20'3". A tricycle gear was added to offset the weight of the motor. POP: 1 [X10756].
-Cierva C-8 1928 = 2pOlwMAg; 220hp Wright J-5; span: 28'0" length: 28'4" rotor: 38'8". POP: 1 [418]. Modified from a Spanish Cierva C-8 (Spain ff: 1/17/23), purchased by Pitcairn Co for evaluation, it was the first rotary-wing craft to fly in the USA, 12/18/28 (p: Harold Pitcairn).

-Cierva PCA-1 1930 = 2pOlwMAg; span: 32'0" length: 23'0". Redesign of Cierva C-8 using PA-5 Sport Mailwing fuselage. POP: 3 [X94N/96N]. First commercial autogyro in USA.

Pitcairn-Cierva PCA-2 Johnny Miller's well-worn first transcontinental autogiro [R10761] (Frank Rezich coll)
Pitcairn-Cierva PCA-2 Earhart's second [NC10780] (Natl Archives)

-Cierva PCA-2 1931 (ATC 410) = 3pOlwMAg; 300hp Wright J-6 R-985; span: 30'0" length: 23'1" rotor: 45'0" load: 907# (?>767#) v: 118/98/0-10 range: 290. $15,000; POP: about 20 [NC26=NC2624, NR784W, NC799W, NC10761, NC10768, NC10780/19781, NC10785/10791, NC11608/11611, NC11613]. First "non-conventional" aircraft to earn government approval. Set world altitude records of 18,415' on 4/8/31 (p: Amelia Earhart), and 21,500' on 9/25/32 (p: Lewis Yancey); three were used by Earhart for a cross-country flight in 1931 [R10761, NC10780, x].

  Pitcairn-Cierva PCA-2 Earhart lands at Grand Central Air Terminal to learn that she had been beaten by only 10 days by Johnny Miller in his PCA-2. (Stephen Pitcairn coll)

Amelia had two different accidents; the first was at Abilene TX on 6/12/31. A second PCA-2 was flown to her to continue her transcontinental journey. On 9/12/31, she dropped it in from 20 feet at Detroit. She was quoted in the New York Times as saying, "Nothing to it, it was all my fault, and I'm not injured at all. I just didn't level off soon enough." Then, "Within a few hours after the crash, Mrs Putnam set out for Saginaw in another Autogiro to fulfill an exhibition flying engagement." (— William T Larkins 1/5/00)

PCA-2-30 SEE Alfaro Autogyro.
-Cierva PCA-3 1931 (ATC 446) = PCA-2 with 300hp P&W Wasp Jr; rotor: 48'0" load: 942# v: 120/100/0-10 range: 300 ceiling: 15,000'. $15,000 (it finally sold for $5,000); POP: 1 [NC11612] c/n E-45.

-Larsen SEE Pitcairn PA-36.

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