Aeroplane Monthly 1993-06
H.Levy - RAF Pitcairn
Another view of owner Steve Pitcairn running-up the PA-39 recently, for the first time in 30 years.
The PA-39’s rotor head. Steve Pitcairn replaced the original rotor blades, which were destroyed in a landing accident in 1960, with units from a Piasecki HRP-1 helicopter. A set of 6 3/4 in-long extensions were specially manufactured to adapt the new blade-roots to the old hub.
Pitcairn PA-39 BW830's first run-up for some 30 years.
A final view of the PA-39’s recent run-up. The rotor is unpowered in flight - it simply windmills - but a clutch system connected to the engine allows it to be run up to take-off speed while the aircraft is stationary on the ground.
The Autogiro is powered by a 175 h.p. Warner Super Scarab 165D seven-cylinder radial engine.
To compensate for the Autogiro’s high centre of gravity the engine has about 6° of downthrust.
The Pitcairn’s tail surfaces. The outward-canted tip fins utilise the rotor downwash to help counteract the propeller torque.
The PA-39’s cockpit has conventional-style main controls.