Lift and drag characteristics and gliding performance of an autogiro as determined in flight

Wheatley, John B

This report presents the results of flight test of the Pitcairn "PCA-2" autogiro. Lift and drag coefficients with the propeller stopped have been determined over approximately a 90 degree range of angles of attack. Based on the sum of fixed-wing and swept-disk areas, the maximum lift coefficient is 0.895, the minimum drag coefficient with propeller stopped is 0.015, and the maximum l/d with propeller stopped is 4.8. Lift coefficients were found also with the propeller delivering positive thrust and did not differ consistently from those found with propeller stopped. Curves of gliding performance included in this report show a minimum vertical velocity of 15 feet per second at an air speed of 36 miles per hour and a flight-path angle of -17 degrees. In vertical descent the vertical velocity is 35 feet per second.

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