Pitcairn PA-22

cluttonfred

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Of all the tractor gyros I have come across in my research, this is the one that most appeals to me. The size, weight and power are right in line with a modern LSA or even a European microlight. Clean up the lines a little bit, give it a Rotax 912 or a big VW conversion, maybe switch to tricycle gear, and you have a nice place to start.



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.

Source: Aerofiles.com

http://www.criticalpast.com/video/65675022432_Wingless-Autogyro_White-House_Army-officials_autogyro-landing

I have not yet turned up any detailed drawings or even a good article on the PA-22, but it appears to have been built under a contract to the Bureau of Air Commerce so I wonder if there are some test reports in the archives? Any leads appreciated.

Cheers,

Matthew
 

skier

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I have not yet turned up any detailed drawings or even a good article on the PA-22, but it appears to have been built under a contract to the Bureau of Air Commerce so I wonder if there are some test reports in the archives? Any leads appreciated.
I don't know about detailed drawings, but George Townson's "Autogiro, The Story of the Windmill Plane" has a 3 pages on it, including a rough 3-view sketch.

It cruised at 90mph and its top speed was 105mph. It could maintain level flight at 12mph. The blades could fold backwards for storage. And it had jump takeoff capability.

I believe this was also the forefather to the AC-35/PA-36 models, which may be easier to find information on than the PA-22. From what I can find, the AC-35 used the same 90hp engine as the PA-22.

There are a few more pages on it in Bruce Charnov's "From Autogiro to Gyroplane, The Amazing Survival of an Aviation Technology". Those pages appear to be mostly focused on the control system.
 

cluttonfred

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Thanks, I have the Townson book on order, will definitely check that out. I haven't yet sprung for the $60 Charnov book just yet. Yes, it did lead to the ACA models, note that the second photo above is clearly the original PA-22 modified with a new tail, cowling, and revised windscreen but is says Autogiro Company of America on the side. From what I did find out, I believe that the original PA-22 did not have a jump capability, only a prerotator, but I could be mistaken.
 

skier

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Thanks, I have the Townson book on order, will definitely check that out. I haven't yet sprung for the $60 Charnov book just yet. Yes, it did lead to the ACA models, note that the second photo above is clearly the original PA-22 modified with a new tail, cowling, and revised windscreen but is says Autogiro Company of America on the side. From what I did find out, I believe that the original PA-22 did not have a jump capability, only a prerotator, but I could be mistaken.
I just got through reading the bits in Townson and Charnov about the PA-22. The PA-22 was being designed to allow for jump takeoff, and it seems like they did eventually get there. However, I can't determine if the first prototype of the PA-22 did indeed have that capability. It seems like you could be correct and it may not have been able to jump.

They were using a tilting mechanism in the rotor for directional control and according to Charnov they were working on cyclic control to enable the jump takeoffs. Charnov never seems to state whether they got the jump takeoff abilities to work. Townson claims the blades could be spun to 150% RRPM and the pitch increased to allow for jump capabilities, but doesn't state whether this was the initial prototype or a later variant.

Also, I know the Charnov book is expensive, but I can't recommend it highly enough. IHMO it is the best book out there on the history of the autogryo.
 

kmtck

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I wont fly that!
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I have been trying to get more details on the PA-22 too.
Empty weight......
Gross weight.......
Payload......540 lbs(is this true?)
Propeller size.......
Line drawings too.

Matthew, I second you that a revised state of the art PA-22 fits the LSA category well.

The pictures are confusing on the Russian site: http://www.airwar.ru/enc/law1/pa22.html
The actual photos have the rotary engine in the front but the line drawings have the pointy nose with the extension shaft with engine behind the pilot.

Actual numbers/data will be very good. Anyone has any info/pics to share.
 

Alan_Cheatham

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US Patents 2155426 and 2216163 maybe of interest to those looking for info on the PA-22.

Another good book of the early autogiros is "Cierva Autogiros" by Brooks which deals with the history of about every "autogiro" developed. According to this book the PA-22 went through 13 versions while under development including an early roadable one and later jump-takeoff.

Brooks lists the empty weight at 588-600 lbs, maximum take off weight at 1140-1350 lbs, 17 gallons of fuel.

.
 

JAL

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Check out the littlewing gyros, it is smaller but designed around the same principles and is a tractor.

Also if you want something the size of Pitcairn then I don't think Rotax 912/914 is powerful enough. While they are great designs they are also very draggy machines that need some brute horsepower.
 

cluttonfred

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Alan and Jordan, thank you both. That first patent in particular gives some nice ideas of construction, interesting that it was drawn with reverse tricycle gear and a very big rear wheel. On the power, I am surprised to hear that. The numbers I have seen indicated a 90 hp Pobjoy as the engine, seems quite comparable to a Rotax. Am I missing something? Cheers, Matthew
 

Alan_Cheatham

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This machine is about the closest I've seen to a modern PA-22 type design, it's Rotax powered.

The PA-22 eventually used the 90 hp Pobjoy Niagara, it's power and weight would seem comparable to the Rotax.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pobjoy_Niagara

Brook's book has a picture of the PA-22 as it was originally built with the large central wheel as per the patent but a tri-gear with that short of a wheelbase looks as it would have stability issues.

.
 

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