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Opposite: Miss Champion is shown in front of the Temple of Tigers in the Yucatan. The Autogiro proved to be a use- ful tool for Dr. Sylvanus G. Morley during his 1932 explo- ration of Mayan ruins in the Yucatan Peninsula. Miss Champion, a Pitcairn PCA-2, was purchased by the Champion Spark Plug Company for advertising.


In 1931,


Lewis Yancey flew Miss Champion over 6,500 miles, visiting 21 states and 38 cities. The following year Yancey took Miss Champion to Cuba and then Mexico to assist in exploring Mayan ruins. Harold Pitcairn's son Steven redis- covered Miss Champion in the early 1980's and restored her to flying condition. Prior to Steven Pitcairn's passing in 2008 he flew her at many air shows. Miss Champion is one of only two remaining Pitcairn PCA-2 Autogiros and is on display at the Experimental Aircraft Association's AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, WI.


Right: A Pitcairn PA-36 Whirlwing makes a jump takeoff in 1941. The PA-36 was one of Pitcairn's most advanced designs. It was a direct control Autogiro which featured cyclic and collective controls. Note the men on the left holding the poles and string which simulate an obstacle for the Whirlwing to takeoff over.


Photo: Courtesy of Dr. Bruce H. Charnov, Hofstra University 2003 "From Autogiro to Giroplane" Conference


ceding year. The ceremony took place on the White House lawn where a PCA-2 was landed for the event. This was the first rotary-wing aircraft to land at the White House (Charnov, 2003).


Autogiro development and man- ufacturing in the United States was gaining momentum.


In 1931,


Pitcairn changed the name of the Pitcairn-Cierva Autogiro Company to the Autogiro Company of America or ACA (Charnov, 2003). The ACA issued Autogiro manufacturing licenses to the Buhl Aircraft Company and the Kellett Aircraft


Corporation; the later would build several Autogiros for the US Army. In 1932, Pitcairn and Cierva shared the John Scott Award, presented by the directors of City Trusts of the City of Philadelphia for “the invention of the Autogiro, its improvement and development as a propelling and sta- bilizing force for heavier than air craft, and its introduction into America.” Pitcairn and Cierva began to work closely on Autogiro develop- ment, both traveling across the Atlantic to see the other. Cierva


devised a control system that would eliminate the need for the fixed wing control surfaces that were being used on the original indirect control Autogiros. Although the Autogiro was able to still generate lift at slow speeds, the control surfaces did not function well and loss of control had led to several highly publicized acci- dents. Cierva correctly reasoned that if he could make the rotor head directly control the aircraft the fixed wing control surfaces would not be needed and control would not be


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