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Heroes of the Sky



The Planes: 1931 Pitcairn Autogiro

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Length: 23';
Wingspan: 30' 1";
Rotor Diameter: 45';
Weight (empty): 2,100 lbs.

Construction Materials: Welded steel tube and fabric fuselage; wood (ash and spruce) and fabric wings
Builder: Pitcairn-Cierva Autogiro Company, Willow Grove, Pennsylvania
Cost: $15,000
Number Built: 30
Engine Type: Wright Whirlwind, 9-cylinder, 300-horsepower, radial, air-cooled internal combustion engine
Engine Builder: Wright Aeronautical Company, Dayton, Ohio
Configuration: 1-pilot/2-passenger autogiro
Maximum Speed: 120 m.p.h.
Maximum Range: 290 miles

The Detroit News Autogiro
This plane took aerial photos for the Detroit News. The log book includes visits to fairs and expositions all around the area – it might have made more news than it recorded.

The main safety feature of the Autogiro was that you could navigate to the ground even if you stalled out. But it still took skill to land safely.





the planes   make a paper airplane  
Teachers, get lesson plans and see the curriculum ties to the Heroes of the Sky.
See the planes on exhibit, check out the specifications and get a sneak peak in a few cockpits. Try one of these high- flying designs at home!


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