Airworthy Autogiro with Articulated Rotor

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I work on a Discovery Science show called Impossible Engineering and we are making an episode which feature's a story about Cierva's invention of the articulated rotor now used on modern helicopters. Does anyone know of any airworthy autogiros out there which still use this rotor system? (I've tried extensively to find an airworthy 18A but haven't been successful so far). Many thanks.
 

kolibri282

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There is an airworthy replica of a Cierva C-30a in Spain registered as Spanish Air Force "XVU.1-01". The first test flight was on February 3rd 1999 at the LLanos airbase near Albacete. The aircraft is now on display at the Museo de Aeronautica y Astronautica (Museo del Aire) at Cuatro Vientos Airport, Madrid, Spain.

https://flic.kr/p/2hSFaRA
https://www.airliners.net/photo/Spain-Air-Force/Cierva-C-30/4899041/L

There is also a 45 minute documentary about the project (in Spanish) which has been aired by a TV Channel by the name of

2
-----
tvG

The film was available on the internet in 2013 but unfortunately I have not been able to locate it. Perhaps you can contact them. I am not sure whether it is this one, the logo today is different:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TvG2

Cheers

Juergen
 

Illini85

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Our own member WaspAir here owns and flies a A&S 18A. Its a beautiful example. You might want to reach out to the EAA in Oshkosh I think they are in possession of Steve Pitcairn's Miss Champion Pitcairn PCA-2. Finally aircraft collector Kermit Weeks has as old autogiro restoration project in the works but I don't know what stage of completion it might be in. Search Fantasy of Flight to find contact info for him. His biography would suggest him to be worthy of his own show.
 

Tyger

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That's really helpful, thank you. Forgive my ignorance, but can you contact owners directly through the FAA? Not sure how it works.
You can see Mr Patten's official address in that example. You can always write an actual letter... that's how the FAA contacts me! ☺️
 

Martin W.

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.

Here is a short 2012 video of Kermit Weeks Pitcairn Autogyro

I dont know the current situation , whether it is still flying or being restored.

Sure looks good in the video

 
Joined
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.

Here is a short 2012 video of Kermit Weeks Pitcairn Autogyro

I dont know the current situation , whether it is still flying or being restored.

Sure looks good in the video

Hi Martin,
Thanks for this! I love this aircraft but unfortunately it's not flying anymore which is a shame. Would have been ideal.
 
Joined
Mar 9, 2021
Messages
4
Location
UK
There is an airworthy replica of a Cierva C-30a in Spain registered as Spanish Air Force "XVU.1-01". The first test flight was on February 3rd 1999 at the LLanos airbase near Albacete. The aircraft is now on display at the Museo de Aeronautica y Astronautica (Museo del Aire) at Cuatro Vientos Airport, Madrid, Spain.

https://flic.kr/p/2hSFaRA
https://www.airliners.net/photo/Spain-Air-Force/Cierva-C-30/4899041/L

There is also a 45 minute documentary about the project (in Spanish) which has been aired by a TV Channel by the name of

2
-----
tvG

The film was available on the internet in 2013 but unfortunately I have not been able to locate it. Perhaps you can contact them. I am not sure whether it is this one, the logo today is different:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TvG2

Cheers

Juergen
Super helpful - thank you!
 

kolibri282

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Duesseldorf
Probably one of the most comprehensive collections of the history of rotary wing aircraft, with an incredible wealth of technical detail, is the (as of now) two volume work by Franklin D. Harris.
https://www.rotaryforum.com/threads...r-v-stol-aircraft-by-franklin-d-harris.33276/

He would also be the best person to turn to for in depth information about whatever subject there is in rotary wing aircraft.

The then chief test pilot of the UK Cierva company, Reginald Brie, wrote a book
"The Autogyro and how to fly it"
which basically covers everything related to flying the C-30.

A major transfer of gyro technology to helicopters happened in the US when Sikorsky stole the patents of the American "Pitcairn" autogyro company. Harold Pitcairn sued Sikorsky and ultimately the case was decided in Pitcairn's favour, unfortunately Harold Pitcairn did not live to learn about this victory.

Once your documentary is finished it would be great, Alice, if you could post an info here in the forum and possibly a link to the film.

Thanks in advance and good luck with your project!

Juergen
 
Last edited:

Tyger

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"Harold Pitcairn did not live to learn about this victory", because he killed himself in despair (or possibly was murdered) because of terrible obfuscation and delay on the part of the government after it allowed his patents to be used without his consent after WWII. This after he freely let the government use his (270!) patents during the war, and even gave his company airfield for gov't use as what became Willow Grove NAS (incidentally no longer owned by the Navy, and almost unusable today because of chemicals leaked into the water table).
"After 28 years of litigation the court ruled that the rotary wing patents of the Autogiro Company of America had been infringed and Harold F. Pitcairn was granted the victory." 17 years after his death!
An unmitigated travesty perpetrated on a good man by the government and the military-industrial complex, in my opinion.
 
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